Tag Archive | technology

Does your cell phone control your life?

cell-phoneTweets, texts, posts, blogs, status update, newsfeed, vlog, snap chat, vine. . . a new set of vocabulary that runs our lives.

20 years ago when your phone rang, you had to be home to answer it. Today our phones travel with us, and we are so dependent on them that we check them every six-and-a-half minutes. It’s the first thing we do in the morning, and it’s the last thing we do at night.

Phones are not just used for calling anymore. We check email, text, socialize, bank, keep time, shop, take photos, surf the web, listen to music, game, run our businesses, get directions, read, etc., etc. on our phones. A person checks their smartphones an average of 150 times during a 16 hour day

Technology is beginning to merge with our humanistic lives. We are living 2 lives. Your real life and your tech life. Technology has created a new type of relationship. A “behind the screen” relationship. It’s like virtual reality. You interact with a person that you could reach out and call or visit with, but you choose to socialize on your terms.

Social networking has given us a new kind of freedom, but you basically give up your right to privacy by interacting on social networking. On Facebook or Snap Chat people capture, do, and say things that they normally wouldn’t say or do in person. Communication becomes a little foggy, people become a little bold behind the screen, and many times reality doesn’t seem real anymore until you pay for the consequence later!

We are connected all the time.

Does your Device control your life, or do you use your Device to enhance your life?

Could you turn off your phone for a day? How much does your phone define who you are?

An Apple a day

Photo Sep 20, 11 46 26 PMI guess I consider myself somewhat of a “Techie.” My business as a Graphic Designer keeps me engrossed in computers, software, and electronic devices.

This month ended up being a “Techie” month. I decided to upgrade my desktop computer from Windows XP, to Windows 7 (too many bad reviews with Windows 8). Windows XP will be toast by April 2014, and many manufacturers are already not supporting XP. If you don’t upgrade, your computer becomes a security risk. I also decided to upgrade my Adobe Graphic software, and add more memory to my computer. Upgrading certainly has its risks, but with a bit of help from my “Techie” husband and his Engineer, all went well.

This week was also the release of Apple’s iOS 7 and today’s iPhone 5S and 5C launch in stores. I always find it fascinating when Apple comes out with a new device operating software. It’s a little bit like Christmas in September. Apple has a way of packaging new and innovative features to its OS. While many users encountered a lot of frustrating server errors while upgrading, the numbers show that a lot of people were successful in updating. Within 48 hours of its launch on Wednesday, iOS 7 made its way onto 32 percent of the Apple (AAPL) devices in the U.S. and Canada, according to digital ad network Chitika.

I updated my iPhone 4S on Wednesday evening around 12am PST. I usually do quite a bit of research before taking the plunge. I was aware of possible battery drain issues, so I was prepared. The next day my iPhone started out at 100%, but I was loosing batter fast, even when it was shut off! I decided to let the battery completely run out until the phone shut itself off. I plugged it into its charger, and the white little apple appeared for quite some time, and then the battery icon appeared. The next day, all was normal.

All this “Techie” stuff can be quite scary to some, and as the boomer generation moves further away from the office environment, into retirement, technology gets left behind. I’m fortunate that my Graphic Design business forces me to stay current with technology on a daily basis. Here are a few apps that make my life a bit easier each day:

Carbonite.com – I use this site to back up my computer everyday. It backs up automatically. This made my computer upgrade a piece of cake. I can also access files from my computer from anywhere. There’s even an App.

Dropbox.com – I use this site to remotely share files with customers, and family members. It’s also a great way to keep large files off of your computer. I can also access this from anywhere.

Grocery IQ (App) – Now that it has a bar scanner, I scan my groceries as they run out. By the end of the week, I have a list.

Shazam (App) – A very cool App that recognizes music and media playing around you. Tap the Shazam button to instantly tag songs and purchase later.

Candy Crush (App) – Stress reliever, and very addicting game.

SnapChat (App) – This is how I now keep abreast of what my college daughter is up to. It’s a fast way to share a quick moment on iPhone. The photo is only seen for a few seconds.

DirecTV (App) – I watch TV from my iPad. I don’t think I’ve turned on the TV in my bedroom in over a year.

Quizlet (App) – A study tool for my son. Flashcards created by the community from school textbooks. He studies right from his iPad mini. He is getting good grades on test with help from Quizlet

Amazon Student (App) – I used this App to sell my kid’s school textbooks back. The barcode feature makes it so easy. When your done scanning the books you send a shipping label to your email and print it out. Shipping is FREE. I got about $100 back.

iTunes Radio – Launch with the latest iOS 7. Works just like Pandora, but you can purchase a song right from iTunes while listening. They have fewer ads, and the songs play more hits.

I am not my mother’s flip phone!

Photo Jan 26, 3 30 57 PMOn more than one occasion I’ve hung up my cell phone in awe with a family member (who will remain nameless) after being asked to look up a phone number, information or directions. “Googling” is a house hold name in my family. It’s your “go to”, “get all”, one stop shop for information. It’s second nature when I need information, and “Siri” is starting to take the reigns! In this day and age with technology right in front of your fingers, there is no excuse, but in all reality it’s a growing concern.

Baby boomers — those born in the U.S. between the years 1946 and 1964 (missed it by a year) — have carried a lot of demographic weight through the years. Boomers are now retiring from the workplace in droves, but without an office, company computer and cell phone, are Boomers keeping up with technology?

It’s not that baby boomers aren’t connected to the internet. According to an August 2011 Pew Internet survey, three out of four boomers between 50 and 64 years old use the Internet. Surprisingly, more than half (53 percent) of American adults age 65 and older are going online.

But not all baby boomers are connected. Among current non-internet users, almost half (48%) say the main reason they don’t go online now is because they don’t think the internet is relevant to them—often saying they don’t want to use the internet and don’t need to use it to get the information they want or conduct the communication they want. Many boomers find it difficult to use the new technologies because of their complexities. Interfaces that are not intuitive with buttons that are too small and not easy to touch, and text that is too small to read make boomers hesitant to adopt smart phones, tablets, netbooks, and especially computers.

There is a growing technology gap within the Baby Boomer generation.

Many Boomers are determined to keep up with technology. They use the Internet often to stay relevant at work and connected with their friends and families. Accessing instant news and weather, and keeping in contact with grandkids and childhood friends is a necessity.

But many Boomers are resisting digital technology, and still long for the printed newspaper and land line connection. Unfortunately they will find fewer and fewer viable options.

Technology moves very quickly, and within a few years, a lack of Internet access and technology ignorance will certainly doom those that don’t conform. Those that don’t conform widen the gap. This gap is what is starting to affect Boomer communication with other Boomers as well as other generations.

Owning a cell phone and checking emails used to be enough to stay connected, but the “flip” phone today is archaic. Most Boomers fail to realize that the technology of a “flip” phone is cumbersome. Flipping back and forth from menu to menu can drive you crazy!! No wonder Boomers have difficulty with the hardware and interface! Smartphones are actually designed for ease of use.

The way that I see it, technology is not just about the hardware, it’s about changing the way we “think”. Smartphones are not just for calling anymore. Boomers still check emails once or twice a day — on their PC at home. When I leave my mother an email, I’m lucky if she checks it in a few days. Many boomers only think of their phones as a voice device, but today it’s much more than that.

My Millennial kids use their smartphones to text, chat, video, search, listen to music, bank, and play games. They do everything but use the phone to talk. They make calls as a last resort, and their voice-mails aren’t even set up!

Boomers will eventually find themselves losing touch with peers, and colleagues, and friends who refuse to text, message, or check email frequently. It becomes increasingly difficult to communicate when the response time is often days or weeks.

So what are some things that you can do (if you’re a Boomer, or have a Boomer parent) to help keep up with technology and keep the gap from widening?

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New Featured App

CraftStudio App from Martha Stewart

The App is the perfect fit for crafters who are ready to take their skills to the tech-level. I’ve tried the app and it’s great! In the CraftStudio you can personalize cards, invitations, thank-you notes, announcements, scrap book pages, and so much more. On the app you are able to browse through hundreds of styles of paper (you can even “punch” the paper as you would a regular punch!) and choose from a variety of stickers, stamps, glitter, borders and fonts.

You can use your personal photos and embellish them to make cute cards and invites and get them printed at Snapfish or other print venues like Costco.

The best part about the CraftStudio App is that it’s free until July 8th. Click here to head to the itunes store where you can download CraftStudio.