because sometimes…

Random

I found this awesome thread on Twitter and started  making Queen Elizabeth in a simple text editor but as I went along the instructions want you to type over the line before it, so it requires an actual typewriter (which I have!) I may have to try this. In the meantime, this exists!

 

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On breaking up with my phone – week three

Life

I am on week three of this experiment and I have a lot of random thoughts about it. I will share them here.

I have reached a point where I can leave a room and not have my phone attached to me. In fact, I have ditched my phone as an alarm clock and I keep it in another room at night to charge. Since I’ve done this I have slept better.

In general I am feeling happier and more at peace. I also feel more resilient. Before I started this, for awhile I’d lost my desire to do things that I like to do.  I didn’t really think it was depression. It was just a general sense of ennui. That is starting to lift and I’m finding my interest in things coming back.

The thing that I’ve liked about this program is that I don’t have to cut social media entirely out of my life. This has been really nice because I like checking in on what my friends on FB/IG/Twitter are up to. But it feels easier to place boundaries on it when I’m only doing it on my PC and not my phone. Though, I do feel like I could work on limiting my Social media visits even more. I’d like to limit my FB and Twitter visits to once a day or less.

The only two apps that I’ve deleted from my phone that I miss are Instagram and Strava. When this whole thing is over, I will reinstall IG, but maybe only focus on my photography account for awhile before diving into my personal account. Strava is nice because it gave me useful running stats that I’m missing. I don’t miss Facebook or Twitter or any of the others.

I decided on some ground rules for using my phone (and this comes directly from the book). I am not going to use my phone when I’m around other people. If I’m hanging out with another person, my task is to hang out and enjoy the company of the other person. If I am going to check my Instagram feed I’m going to set aside some time when I can look through it and enjoy it. Multitasking never worked for me. Also: no phone at the table while I’m eating!!

Yesterday I was working at the Mt Hood Farmer’s Market, representing the library booth. I didn’t have much to do except greet people coming and going. So I did a lot of people watching and I noticed the people in the other booths had their faces buried in their phones. Then later on when I was at the grocery store I noticed  that two kids  were wandering around the store staring into the phone. I’m totally not writing this to be judgmental because I am one of these people, I think we all are. It just struck me as odd yesterday when I noticed it.  There is this world happening right here, how on earth can  the phone be more interesting than what is going on out here in the real world?

I decided to stop using the website Goodreads entirely. A couple of weeks ago I went to edit some of my book information and Amazon was totally in-your-face trying to sell me books. I mean, it wasn’t even subtle. It bugged me. They are comodifying my reading and are so blatant about it. So I’m done. I’ve been keeping track of my reading in my Hobonichi anyway so I don’t really need it. Making this decision, I feel this intense sense of relief. I can just read a book and not share what I’m reading with the world, unless I want to. Wow. It’s weird how that makes me feel so free. I had no idea that the website had that effect on me to begin with until I felt the freedom from it that I do now.

The book is now instructing me to take 24 hours off from all screens. So no texting no email, no computer, no television, etc. So tomorrow after my run (because fuck that, I’m not turning off my music during my run), I’m cutting myself off from the Matrix for 24 hours. I’m kind of excited to see what I accomplish.

A note about the featured image: Almost exactly a year ago today I went on an unintended technology break when my phone’s battery died while camping. I spent 24 hours away from a screen of any kind. It was fucking fantastic. I took the featured (pinhole) photo during that time and I had to guess as to what I thought the exposure time should be. I think it turned out just fine without having to using the Pinhole Assist app!

Apple Watch – thoughts

Life

I thought I would post my thoughts on the Apple Watch after using it for a couple of weeks. Now, there are millions of reviews of it all over the web, so I’m not going to bore you with a review. This is just a quick note to jot down my thoughts on it. And maybe to also an excuse to post my Inception-style photo (above).

I bought this as a replacement for my Fitbit, so the fitness features were the most important to me. In that realm it is pretty fantastic. The daily goal is different from the Fitbit. With the Fitbit the focus is on daily steps. With this, the daily goal focuses on 3 things: active calories, exercise, and standing every hour. It took awhile to figure out a goal that would be sensible for me but I think I finally have it nailed down. I reach all three goals easily on the days that I run, but it’s much harder on the days I don’t because for cross training I don’t do things that raise my heart rate high enough to count as “active calories.” But that’s ok. It gives me something to work toward. I do like the nudges to stand and walk around every hour.  It’s great at work because I could easily sit all day and not move around, so this has gotten me up and moving more at work.

I love the heart rate monitor. I didn’t have that with my Fitbit Charge. It gives me a little more feedback when I’m running, which is nice.

I have tried a few of the non-Apple exercise apps like Run Keeper. My initial thought on those is that they are glitchy. I like the Apple fitness app. The numbers on the face are big and I can see them easily without my glasses. I like the little vibrations when I hit little milestones (like when I’ve run a mile, or when I’ve reached a halfway point.). I love that I can leave my phone at home and use it to listen to music with my blue tooth headphones. However,  the blue tooth headphones I bought bounce out of my ears and it’s frustrating, so I need to find some that work for running. They work fine at the gym on the rowing machine.

The biggest surprise is that I am absolutely loving that I can respond to texts on this thing! In fact, I am kind of blown away by the technology. I can actually speak into my watch and answer texts. On my watch. It’s like Star Trek, or something. Amazing!

I love that I can get notifications on it as well. When my alarm goes off on my phone it also goes off on my watch. I get notified on my watch when people “like” my shit on social media.  It’s nice to not have to be glued to my phone constantly.

There are a few apps that I have installed that I find very convenient. I installed a really great calculator app (I was shocked that it didn’t come equipped with one!) called Calcbot. I love the Sleep ++ app (I really enjoyed the sleep info I got from the Fitbit). I have an app called Cheatsheet installed.

I have some iPhone photos installed on it – my photo album from my trip – and am using it as the watch face. I am loving seeing my photos every time I go to check the time.

I still haven’t quite figured out how to use it with my camera. Today was really the first time I tried it out as a camera remote, and the featured photo is the result. I can see how this would come in kind of handy, though I mostly use my iPhone for snapshots.

So, in short, really loving it! Really glad I got it.