Wednesday, 2 March 2016

Technology Overdose!

Taking technology too far?

Whilst on holiday I left my smart watch behind as taking the watch plus charger was too much space in my bag. For ten whole days I was without my smart watch. Did I miss it?  Yes, a lot at first but eventually, this waned and by the end of the holiday I had all but forgotten about the watch.

What I did notice though was that whilst on holiday I was far more relaxed than I have been for a long time. For the first day or two I was checking my normal watch every few minutes to see the latest updates but being non-smart it just told me the time.

Now I am back I immediately recharged the watch and reconnected it only to find that I had restarted the terminal onslaught of messages which the watch shows. I admit, the best thing about the watch is that it silences my phone and transfers all activity to my watch. The down side is that I cannot differentiate between the incoming alert.  Thus a tweet from someone has the same priority as an email. and each email has the same priority, so ones from important people cannot be singled out.

This might sound like I am being picky, but as my fiance pointed out, when I am wearing the watch I am constantly looking at my wrist and not at the person talking to me. So I recently put the watch away and have reverted to the non-smart watch. This means I am getting alerts through  my phone, but each alert has a different ring tone.  I have also stopped a number of alerts and notifications which were more entertainment than necessary.  I now need to click on the app to see what is happening rather than be informed through notifications.
The result is I am less stressed, well I feel I am.

To add to the mix, I recently moved house, and the new house has not internet. This has resulted in my children reading books and talking to each other and the family rather than hibernating in their rooms and playing on their tablets and other devices.

So what can I conclude from this limited evidential study? It seems that technology can enable social habits when used at a distance where as when used locally it impedes communication. I still advocate using technology and see it as a useful tool for social networking generally doing things and finding thinsg out. But what is clear is that we can be overtaken by technology and this leads to the question who is using whom?

Mobile technology

I am writing this in Jamaica, whilst lying on a lounger by the pool. I mention that not to make you jealous but to highlight I am away from home. One thing that has become essential when away from home is reliable technology. We all rely on technology so much that if it fails we have a situation.

Whilst flying over I used my iPod to listen to a couple of times but when I got to the hotel, my iPod was out of charge so I thought I would recharge it. Sadly it locked and says I need to login to itune to unlock it. I cannot open/unlock it to connect to the local WiFi network so have to rely on an alternative. In this case Google Play Music on which I have a range of music stored. It works perfectly as long as there is a WiFi network and it is easier to access my music as I am not limited to a few Gigabyte's.

Whilst here, I also took up the opportunity to use Google hangouts to call home and speak to the kids. I have never been more impressed with the quality of the call. I just did a nice call as I had not tried the network out to see if it would do  video but will give it a go later. After relying on Skype which constantly drops calls and has a lag between talking it was refreshing to uses VOIP app and have appear real time. So far I have to take my hat off to Google producing two valuable apps that do what you want, when you want in a way you want.