As part of my resolutions for the New Year, I’ve decided to do a technology purge. This may sound odd, coming from a self-described "geek girl," but let me explain:
I recently read a post at 43Folders where Merlin Mann was describing the stress he felt about trying to keep up with his RSS feeds. Someone rightly criticized him because the stress was self-imposed and as such, was rather silly.
This got me thinking. I’m pretty good about keeping my RSS feeds culled down to only the ones I really want to read, but I realized that there are other pieces of technology that I’m either using, or abusing, to my own detriment. So, below is an audit of the technology I use: what’s gotta stay, and what’s gotta go:
Last year, I blogged about Twitter and got several friends and co-workers using it. At first, I thought it was sort of a fun little thrill. A few co-workers and I used it. But, very quickly, it became a burden. A few people I was following began tweeting about every move they made. Literally. I’ve started to realize that I am getting no value at all from this application, aside from being distracted every time someone decides to type, "I’m sleepy."
Verdict: Jury’s still out. But it’s on my shit list.
While Future Tense recently blogged about the fact that the younger generation views email as old-school and too slow, for this old dinosaur email is a vital daily tool. I not only use it to communicate with colleagues and family members, I use my emailboxes to manage my to-do’s, random stuff I want to read, things I’m waiting for. I centralize 6 different accounts into my MacBook’s Mail app, and now use it to track most of my RSS feeds, too.
Verdict: Can’t live without it.
My personal blog is sorely neglected. Frankly, so is my work blog (but we’re working on updating it and getting it rolling again). However, I do find that I get some amount of value out of blogging. I like that it gives my far-flung family a window into my life (and my kid’s life). I like that I can look back on what I was thinking or doing months or years ago. Professionally, I’m starting up this venture with Nancy, and am also making efforts to revive the Clockwork blog (once that’s done I’ll link to it here).
Verdict: I’m bringing blogging back.
This is the one I’ve really got a bee in my bonnet about. Where to begin? Let’s start with the one I’ve already purged: Friendster. I signed up for this when it was still a beta. It seemed intriguing at first, and of course I ran off to find everyone I knew and link them up. Then I kind of forgot about it. I remembered I had a profile when I was Googling myself (hey, a girl’s gotta keep an eye on her online identity!) and realized that another site was scraping profiles and aggregating them. Time to kill my long-neglected and never-used Friendster profile. My crosshairs are on MySpace, but I haven’t pulled the plug because once in a blue moon I’ll get a MySpace event invitation that actually sounds cool or fun. I have to keep Facebook one, mostly because…well, all the cool kids are doing it. But, I’ll publicly admit that I don’t quite "get it." The sole purpose of Facebook appears to be stealing my time. And steal my time it has. To minimize this, I rarely respond to "vampire bites" or the like and have removed most of the useless apps that I installed on a whim at some point.
Verdict: Some will stay, others must go.
Aside from the burning hell that is known as AT&T mobile service, I love my iPhone. It has made my life easier and continues to do so. I’m able to keep my phone easily synced with my calendar, check email, get maps and keep myself entertained on flights with videos and music on iTunes. Finding directions and coffee in other cities is so incredibly easy, that I don’t know how I lived without this thing. Now, if only AT&T could manage not to drop my calls several times a day…
Verdict: I’m in love.