What my first iPhone taught me

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What my iPhone taught me

Last month I became a first-time iPhone owner. I resisted the lure for years and, when I finally decided to make the switch, my adult daughter met me at the store ‘for support.’ Since that evening, ‘B.A.’ has demonstrated infinite patience with my questions, user errors and FaceTime practice. At the beginning, she offered to review various settings with me, yet graciously allowed me to test the waters on my own. And she was notably impressed after I posted my first screenshot on Facebook. In the midst of my burgeoning tech savvy, however, I’ve learned it’s more rewarding to engage in everyday life, each moment—even the teaching kind (thanks B.A.!)—as it unfolds, without worrying about checking in on social media each time I go somewhere, or orchestrating the perfect selfie or posting photos of every meal I cook. Technology means well, keeps us connected. But real people, in real time, can never be upgraded or replaced.

How does technology impact your life?

A cyber burnout

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[Image credit: Nutdanai Apikhomboonwaroot]

A couple of weeks ago I wrote about a self-imposed time out.  It’s when enough is enough and you just need to step away from technology and all its demands.  Not the commitments that are necessary to keep business running smoothly or remain available for family, but the ones that take us away from the things we should be doing.  In fact, sometimes I’d like to declare an email bankruptcy — an opportunity to purge every message and start over with a clean inbox.  Other times I tell myself: only one more game of Words With Friends and then I’ll start the laundry, do the dusting, make dinner, work on taxes, write 100 words, fill in the blank.  When it gets to a point where your life revolves more around your IP address than the location you call home, it may be time to pull the plug for a pre-determined period in order to regroup.  For example, I’ve known friends who have taken a hiatus from Facebook for weeks at a time to focus on whatever it is that needs attention on their side of the monitor.  I’m getting close to that place, myself.

Does your real life take a back seat to the cyber world, or is it well-balanced between the two?

A self-imposed timeout

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[Image credit: digital art]

As a rule, when I come home for lunch, I typically fix something to eat and plop myself in front of the computer to either work on my writing, add a post to my blog, play a little Words With Friends, troll around Facebook or catch up on emails.  This is after a  morning at my “day” job where I am planted at my desk composing emails, updating spreadsheets, uploading content to our websites, etc.  A couple of days last week when I came home at lunchtime, instead of making a beeline for my office, I either pulled out my book (not a Kindle or a Nook but the paper and ink kind) and ate while I read, or enjoyed face-to-face conversation with my daughter.  And when it was time to return to work afterward, I felt more refreshed, as if I had a real break.  Which makes me realize I need to schedule appointments with these self-imposed timeouts from technology on a regular basis.  As one of my friends recently told me, keep it simple.  I like that.

Does technology constantly keep you on your toes, or do you occasionally take time out to enjoy the simple things?