Our Toxic Smartphone Addiction

My name is Lenny Charnoff and I’m an addict. Yes, I realize I am a smartphone addict. The smartphone has become an extension of my body and after reading the following article from the Chicago Tribune I’m going to keep a diary of my smartphone use and report back on how I’m using other activities in lieu of smartphone use.

But in the meantime read this article to see why I started my project of less smartphone usage.

 

Chicago Tribune article on “Our Toxic Smartphone Addiction”

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What’s On Your Smartphone First Screen

The apps you use the most should be on your first screen. Here are 7 apps I use everyday.

  • Gmail – a business and personal account
  • WhatsApp – my goto messaging app
  • Camera & Photos- Duh
  • Translate- An absolute necessity living in a foreign country
  • Google Keep – My notebook of important informaton
  • Phone- Duh
  • Amazon Music – unlimited songs with my Prime Account

My first screen (see graphic below ) consists of 25 apps that I use everyday. What are some of your apps.

BTW, if you want to order salmon or want to know the next selling location you can click on Cuenca Salmon

Will You Pay $1000 For Your Next Smartphone?

The Samsung Note 8 unlocked base price is $$940 and the rumored price for the iPhone 8 is $1000. Some of the readers of this blog will be purchasing their new iPhone with a Carrier’s subsidy when they renew their cellular plan. I have a cellular plan through Claro but only pay 1/4 of what I would in the U.S.

There is a great article about the $1000 Smartphone here.

 

I think I will be holding on to my 3 year old Nexus Smartphone another year.

Reverso – An Excellent Translation App

My unscientific opinion is that most of my the readers of this blog use Google Translate. GT is easy to use, fast, comprehensive and free. The other day I found Reverso The app presently has only 11 languages,  This is not a problem for me since I will only need Spanish. Below are some of the highlights of this app:

  • Translation in context
  • Reference to other searches
  • conjugation
  • Make favorite
  • Share

I probably will still use Google Translate just because I’m more familiar with the interface. But Reverso is definitely worth a look look

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.

 

 

 

 

How Many Users?

Pop Quiz CTL what service has 1/2 billion users?  Go to the head of the class if you guessed Google Photos. Google is self declaring that this is your photo app of choice. And I agree with them for the following reasons.

  • Drop dead easy to use.
  • Unlimited free storage with a google account
  • Sharing is a no brainer
  • Making movies is very simple
  • Backup is automatic.

There is a great article about Google Photos here 

 

EC Taximetro

I had the pleasure this morning of having coffee with Mario Navas, the developer of EC Taximetro.

Basically, EC Taximetro is an app for IOS and Android that calculates the taxi fare in Cuenca and other places to see if you are being scammed by a tampered taxi meter.

Although the app is entirely in Spanish you can use it with minimal Spanish. The biggest problem is remembering to start the app when you immediately enter the taxi.

Ok, so what do you do if you’re being scammed. You have 3 options.

  • Do nothing
  • Show the taxista the app and argue
  • Get the number of the taxi and there is a denuncio form that will go directly to the Taxi authority in the municipality.

Personally, I would recommend the last option.

 

Ec Taximetro an easy to use app that accomplishes its goal. Run, don’t walk to download this free app.