I read a post from Noah Kravitz over at Phonedog about the habits of the mobile phone culture. It was a well written piece that highlighted some tendencies I notice in many people, myself included. It got me thinking about what it did to my daily routine and how I could possibly fix it. The one item that struck me was grabbing my phone as soon as I got out of bed. Many mornings, even before my eyes are adjusted I have the thing in my hand checking notifications.
Day in and day out the 24 hour news cycle, email, cell phone, desk phone, work duties, family, and more all fight for a piece of mindshare. I divide my attention in the same way in return and self induce some ADD. I think we are all in the same cycle of waiting on the Masters. I have come to realize, however,we still have control over who our Masters are.
It’s important to stay in touch, we are social creatures. We are creatures of habit. Not all things social, nor all habits are good. I suggest, for starters, disabling notifications on social media or turning off any ringtone or sound tied to them. I turned off Facebook notifications except for private messages, as those are usually someone I do know in real life. I also disabled them in my mobile Twitter application (Tweetcaster right now) and only have DM enabled. Most apps have similar settings and it’s a good start on the path of choosing your Master.
There are simple ways to update the various social platforms too. I have been experimenting with Feedburner and Google Buzz as a central loudspeaker for my online “me.” This methodology regards your view of “A” public or the “THE” public. “A” public can be thought of as your friend list on Facebook, there is a reasonable measure of what you do there goes only to that group. Twitter, is pretty much wide open in that what you tweet is available to “The” public. Directing a feed to the types of publics can ease the stress of app hopping and tab swapping.
Work related communications are a bit different. They keep the bills paid so they have to be allowed. To minimize their intrusions I set my email to sync every 15 minutes as I get messages from various devices all day related to up and down state. I also think being 15 minutes behind the attempts to push chaos is OK. Some users or departments rattle all the cages they can no matter how big an issue it really is. I set it longer on weekends but never longer than our advertised SLA. Besides email is instant delivery not instant reply. I work with various layers of communication and I understand the need for a status updates and all the various mediums to announce that. I am also a big fan of tools that allow me to choose how the world gets to me.
All in all social media is great and powerful. The trick is to not let it have power over you. For example, don’t update your Facebook status between bites of food. I’m not wanting to appear preachy, but it’s my p.o.s. blog, and I think we as a society have lost a bit of humanity of late. Two recent items stick out and sort of tie in to the power media has over us all. One involving a good Samaritan and one involving a major corporation. To start what does it say about us a people to not help a hurt man but stop and snap a pic? The media is worth more than the life? The second, why send a SWAT team to bust a guy for a damn cell phone theft? A hero dies in the street and a douche tweets it but a stolen phone gets the headlines? Is this our world?
Call me old fashioned or whatever you choose, but it’s a serious drain on human points in my book. I look for ways to steer away from a world like that. I welcome your opinions, thanks for reading.