Is technology disengaging you from your life?

Photo on 2009-12-22 at 00.03

The past few days I’ve been very thoughtful about a lot of things. One of my major issues is the amount of time I spend on the computer/iPhone and the amount of satisfaction I get back from it.

Now, just so you’re aware, I spend my 9-5 in front of the computer and some of that time involves social media. This means everything from posting to Facebook and Twitter to writing blog posts and looking up inspirational ideas. I personally find this type of online work very rewarding and see instant feedback from the things I post. In my own personal time, it’s a bit different.

I find that a lot of my personal time spent online these days is rather aimless. I check in with my e-mail, Twitter, Facebook, and blog multiple times a day. I have fallen into a behavior pattern and I’m sure a lot of you can relate to. I don’t know what it is, but it almost feels empty and draining. It’s like I’m searching for that next “feel good” tweet directed at me or an e-mail that will provide me with an uplifting moment in my day. I know this isn’t healthy behavior and I need to seriously evaluate my time and how much I devote to my online activities.

Sometimes I think that the amount of time I spend in my aimless meandering of FB and Twitter streams, I could actually be exercising or preparing myself healthier foods or actually be making a craft. I have felt like this for a while and realize I need to take action in some way or another. I think it would be a positive change for the better.

And by no means do I mean I would stop cold turkey, deactivate my accounts, etc. I just think I need to be more of the moment and not in a vegetative state when it comes to technology. I need to use it with purpose to engage, promote, and learn. And then also step away from it for hours at a time too so I can get back to living. Not so long ago, I was “unplugged” and I seemed ok with that…though I have to admit, I would have killed for iphone when I was younger, I remember many boring moments waiting in my dad’s truck for him to finish a conversation. Haha.

Can anyone relate to this? Do you guys feel that technology is disengaging you from your life? I’d love to hear your feedback. I know it just can’t be me!

Until next time Swellions!


A state of exhaustion

I recently read an article in Details magazine how people like to flaunt the fact that they are “exhausted”. I am currently feeling exhausted, but am not flaunting it in any way, I’m just stating my current mood. I can actually understand where the article was coming from. You know the person in your life who likes to outdo you or let you know how much more demanding their life is, right? That kinda thing gets really old really fast hearing it from them. I think that this state of exhaustion is a universal problem in our U.S. society. We are finding it harder and harder to disconnect from technology. I mean, our cell phones are attached to our hip at all times, we have to “tweet” to let others know exactly what we are thinking at any given moment, and people want things much more quicker now cause we can just zip it off in an e-mail rather than having to mail it through traditional services. All of this technology is making things supposedly “easier”, but it is very much making it harder for us to have a chance to stop and smell the roses or even stop and take a breather!

I didn’t mean to start on a technological rant. That wasn’t the intent at all, but when I think about it, my posts are so reliant on technology as well and I choose how much or little I want to include each time I post. For example, I really wanted to share some awesome finger puppets I got in Chicago, but that would mean I would have to recharge my camera, take an interesting photo, download the photo, color correct the photo, upload the photo, and then copy and paste it into this blog. It’s not a quick solution really (admittedly, I could just take an iphone photo, but it wouldn’t be the quality I would normally go for). See all of these posts take work (I’m not asking for a pity party by any means, I’m just stating the reality of posting such things). A really good post takes an hour or longer. It’s a lot of work!

So, I guess I’m playing into the whole exhaustion by not disconnecting, huh? It’s a really hard beast to battle. I think there’s a lot of internet/techy addictions out there that and that people my age and younger are going to see a lot of bad health results as a part of it…whether it be bad eyesight (you have to throw that whole “don’t sit in front of the screen” saying into the mix), back troubles, and general physical exhaustion. It will be definitely interesting to see how it plays out. I can’t imagine what it will be like in the future if it is like this now. We will end up paying the price for all this new fangled/have to have it now accessibility.

Didn’t really mean for this to sound like a rant in any way, just the stuff off the top of my little ol’ head this evening.

Until next time Swellions!


E-mail She-mail

Do you ever have a hard time keeping up with all your e-mail addresses? Maybe you are one of those few people that just has one e-mail address (lucky you!). I am thinking, um, let’s see….currently I have 6, not to mention other accounts with their own messaging services like Facebook and Flickr.

My first e-mail address was created in August of 1997. I was a freshmen at Murray State and I remember signing on to hotmail on my roommate Echo’s makeshift computer and getting “free e-mail”. After that, I was also given a Murray State e-mail and password. I thought I was hot stuff and I forwarded cute stories, chain mails, and cheesy keyboard typed flowers like crazy. I also sent a lot of e-cards back then. I think they were so cool to me because they were using Flash graphics and they moved and played music. Using e-mail and maintaining it was much simpler then.

I kept those two accounts pretty much throughout college, though I did get an AOL account and chat it up on Instant Messenger (wow, I remember when that was the thing too…so much time I wasted on there!). Since those days, I’ve gone through several accounts through local service providers and given up on some e-mail accounts all together. Last time I checked my Hotmail, I found out that they had revamped it and ALL of my saved e-mails were totally gone along with addresses of people I would have liked to stay in touch with. Usually the reason I end up ditching an e-mail site is that I start getting spam at that site. I now have established an e-mail just for that and use it when I sign up for freebies, accounts, and offers. Geez, it’s all a little too much for my brain to wrap around.

The e-mail I mainly use now is my work (of course mainly for work), my yahoo, and my latest e-mail service…G-mail. I really like the features of G-mail (it took me forever to figure out that G-mail meant Google Mail). G-mail has really cool things that you can set like Google Alerts that tells you when you’ve been mentioned on the web and whatnot. It also has it’s own Instant Messenger chat service. I do use that from time to time, but now more in a text messaging kind of way, not for chatting for hours on end.

I do wish I just had the one e-mail account. It would make things much more simple, but just like that, technology will change and I’ll move onto the bigger and better thing of the moment. That’s just the way it works.

Until next time Swellions!


Swell gets technologically savvy

swell gets savvy

I have officially entered the 21st century! I got the new iphone. I’ve been wanting one for quite a while, but I was waiting for the 3G version and then for the buzz of the latest one to die down. It’s crazy, but I finally have one in my own hands!

I am not really one to stay up on the latest and greatest technological trends. I’m kinda lazy, actually. For the most part, I have what I need and am content with it. It’s when something goes wrong with an electronic that I seek out the newest thing. I currently am actually in need of a new stereo (my Sony from 1997 is not playing cds anymore and is very temperamental). If I update it, I guess I will need to get a cd/mp3 player, huh? Ugh, I just don’t know. It’s not a pressing concern.

I haven’t had an ipod up until this point either, so I really am a kid in a candy shop. I’m going to transfer my music over at some point…perhaps later this week. I also don’t know how I will do using the itunes store. I don’t want to get too addicted and spend tons of money. I could see how that could easily happen with all the fun little apps, music, and videos out there for download.

It’s crazy how far technology really has come. I’m sure it’s going to advance even more, but I just remember moments in my life when I was amazed by far less sophisticated stuff….like in 7th grade when my parents got a new Gateway computer and I did research on Encarta and drew stuff using MSPaint. Also, I was amazed at an even younger age by Printshop and the banners I could do on a dot matrix printer. In college, e-mail ruled the world and having your own account meant you could send as many forwards (I remember when they were actually “cool” to send) and e-cards that my heart desired.

I just hope that my iphone makes me even nuttier about the internet than I already am (I’m afraid it is going to). It’s so amazing that I can check my flickr and the latest celebrity gossip while in the car or standing in line. Who would have ever thought?

Well, gotta get to bed. Until tomorrow Swellions!