What Would Life Be Like Without The Internet (Part 1)

The initial sobering thought is that you would not be reading this post if there were no internet. The thought of  LWTI (Life Without The Internet) came to me in sort of a wave of experiences. The front edge of the wave led me to admit sometimes I use my smartphone and its connection to the Internet to avoid human contact. Yes, if I am restless at dinner or a Poker game, I take out my phone and check email or scan world headlines. Every time my phone vibrates I take it out, often interrupting an ongoing conversation. In short, I am addicted to the stimulation of the Internet.

What was life like before the Internet?

  1. Communication – There were F2F meetings, often requiring time- consuming travel to meetings. There were long distance phone calls. There was snail mail. In the 1960’s, I can remember patiently waiting in my college dormitory post office to find out if my family’s care package shipped 10 days ago had arrived today.
  2. Banking -Ah, the days of standing in line to make a deposit or to pay a vendor. It was licking a stamp on an envelope and mailing the bill to the provider of your services.
  3. Libraries – Walking to the library and hoping that the reference book you needed for your report was available and paying the library fines often.
  4. Movies – As a child, Saturday afternoons were special for my bother and me. I fondly remember going to a matinee where admission and popcorn for the both of us cost less than a dollar.
  5. Employment. There was no such thing as working online. You dressed for work. You commuted to work. More often than not you worked from 8-5 and commuted home.
  6. Television. For the first 18 years of my life there was one T.V. in the house. We watched together as a family and of course there was no streaming, Youtube or viewing on a tablet or smartphone.

Was life slower, better, more enjoyable before the Internet? For my grandchildren there are no comparisons. All of their lives they have experienced Email, Google, Facebook, iPhones and ordering from Amazon and receiving their products in the same day.  They don’t know the meaning of film and typewriters.

Could we exist today without the Internet? Does the child growing up in the Internet age lack personal communication skills? Do we as adults keep our personal communication skills sharp?

In Part 2, I will discuss a need to return to some of the skills we had before the Internet.

 

A Sociology Of The Smartphone

This morning I was streaming “CBS Sunday Morning” and viewed the piece on “It Had Us At Hello” ( 10th Anniversary of the iPhone)  There are very few devices that have changed the world as much as the iPhone and all the smartphones that have followed in its path.It is hard to believe the iPhone sparked such change only 10 years ago.

At the same time I’m also reading a fantastic web post on the smartphone – A Sociology Of The Smartphone“. This is a long read but well worth it.

A smartphone is often “the last thing we look at before sleep each night, and the first thing we reach for upon waking.”

“The smartphone is the signature artifact of our age. Less than a decade old, this protean object has become the universal, all-but-indispensable mediator of everyday life.”

In this blog I have written 53 posts where Smartphone is the major topic. That is 14% of my total posts over a 5 year period.  Anecdotally, I personally use my smartphone 2 hours a day. My wife says “Maybe 3!”  On any given day I use my Nexus 6 smartphone for the following

  • email
  • phone calls
  • what’s app texting
  • calendar
  • calculations
  • measuring my walking distance
  • Photography/Videography
  • News
  • Maps
  • Facebook
  • Taxi rides
  • Ordering Takeout Food
  • Listening To International Radio Stations/Podcasts

Having a smartphone means I no longer have the following

  • photographs in my wallet
  • wrist watch
  • digital camera
  • calendar
  • radio/ipod
  • maps
  • rolodex
  • pad and pencil (in a pocket)

Very shortly smartphones may lead to the elimination of:

  • corporate security passes
  • boarding passes
  • keys
  • credit cards
  • cash

I often use my smartphone when I am bored. At dinner with friends, if the  conversation does not interest me, I hop on my phone. Yes, it is rude but that little device holds so many interesting possibilities.  It pulls like a magnet. Sometimes it is easier than joining in conversation.The Smartphone is almost always in my hand when watching television or a movie on TV. If I am completely, honest it has become an appendage of my body.

Last week I left the house and realized too late that I had left my smartphone on my desk. My day was planned so that I could not easily return to my house for the next six hours. I wondered how I would get through the day not checking my email, checking Facebook , snapping photos and a plethora of time saving tasks.

The end result was that I made it through the day without any severe side effects. The lack of a smartphone did make me aware of how many times I escape into the ether of the Digital World to ameliorate human contact.

But that is another post for another day.

 

 

 

 

Are these 5 Apps On Your Smartphone?

I am addicted to my Smartphone. I’m probably on it too much but it’s one tool I really can’t live without. Here are 5 apps I think you should have on your phone. Have any to suggest to the Cuenca Tech Life audience? All the apps below are free.

  • What’s App – Call anywhere in the world without charge . Group messaging and an easy to use interface make this Facebook owned app a must have.
  • Merlin – receive unusual but factual information daily that can improve your knowledge and intellect.
  • Hopper – receive weekly notices of travel bargains. Hopper will tell you whether the fares are going to fluctuate
  • NPR ONE – Live news from my favorite radio station.  I’m tuned in to OPB my local NPR station
  • Walt Disney Crossy – All work and no play make … Modern day Frogger with Mickey Mouse as the Frog.

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Smartphone Battery – Tips & Myths

The earthquake in Ecuador reminds all of us how important having a smartphone can be.  Right next to my smartphone is a portable battery so if I left the house in an emergency I would have a minimum of 4 days of battery life.

First 3 myths:

  • Leaving the smartphone on the charger all night is bad for your battery
  • You should completely discharge your battery before charging
  • Never use your phone while it is charging

Now 3 tips

  • Dim the screen
  • Minimize push notifications
  • Download the latest software update

The complete article on smartphone battery myths is here

The complete article on smartphone tips is here

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Smartphone Photo And Editing Course – May 9, 2016

Are you fumbling with your Smartphone Camera and you missed a great photo. On May 9th you will learn how to better use your camera and create fantastic movies. The course information is here. The class is limited to six students.

The picture below was captured on my Nexus 6 and edited with Google Photos. The movie was created from past smartphone photos.

Dos Campasinas

January Smartphone Photo And Video Course

Are you satisfied with the photos and videos on your smartphone or tablet? Join 5 other enlightened Cuenca students on 1/25/16 and learn the following

  • Become better acquainted with your equipment
  • Learn how to better frame your photos.
  • Practice basic editing techniques
  • Shoot and edit basic video
  • Gain understanding of different presentation methods
  • Create and share  your presentation in class
  • Acquire info to store your presentations safely in the Cloud

When: Jan. 25, 2016

Where: Los Alamos 3-66 y 3 de Noviembre

Time: 1:00 – 4:00 pm

Cost: $40

Course limited to 6 students

You will need a fully charged smart phone or Table for this course. Your equipment must be running the latest or near the latest operating system.

  • iPhone, iPad – IOS 8 or better
  • Android – Lollipop or Marshmallow

More info: graygeek@gmail.com /099 122 1238

tarqui

 

My Favorite Android Apps 2015

These Apps also run on iPads and iPhones.

Here are my top five apps

  • Pocket:  Previously known as Read It Later, is an application and service for managing a reading list of articles from the Internet. It runs on my Android Phone, iPad Mini and Macbook Pro. I now subscribe to the Pro Version and can search from a list that has 2 years worth of entries

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  • Google Photos – Do you want an easy 1-2-3 photo editing program as well as unlimited storage and the ability to create movies and stories from your photos – then run don’t walk and download the app

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  • WhatsApp – Facebook acquired this super texting and VOIP program. You can send free texts to individuals or groups all around the world. A skype type video conferencing will be introduced within the next year

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  • Moves – A great app to record your steps, walking, cycling etc. You also get a map of your travels and you can save and share in miles or kilometers.

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  • PocketCasts: Live in Ecuador but want to listen to Terry Gross on NPR- No problem with the Pocketcasts App. You can stream or download your favorite Podcast or TV Show and automatically have them queued for playback

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