It Depends? On what?

phone-table-manner-technology


Source: NY Times Magazine, Sunday, January 31, 2016

A Digital Detox Test: The 7 Day Digital Diet

Digital-detox-social-media

And, could I do it? Read the outcome of Patrick Leger’s test @ A Digital Detox Test: Unplug Twitter and Facebook. Put Off Email and Smartphone.

“So for one week in January… I unplugged…I disconnected during a regular workweek and, in lieu of tropical seclusion, enjoyed the subfreezing and proximal isle of Manhattan…I determined I would spend no more than 15 minutes in it each session and sign in just once over the weekend. I’d use the phone only from home and would wait until noon to turn it on. I would not initiate any text exchanges, and if I received a message, I would respond as tersely as possible or call the person back. I could not go on the Internet at all unless it was crucial, and certainly not on social media. No streaming or live TV, only DVDs. Handwritten calendar. And music only at home…”

She meant slowing things down often classes them up

Frank-Bruni

“My mother was always lavish with advice, little of it original…—“Count to 10 before you speak,” she frequently said, and she meant not just that you can’t take back what’s already been uttered. She meant that pauses are the spaces in which passions cool, civility gets its oxygen, and wisdom quite possibly finds its wings. She meant that slowing things down often classes them up….”

“What would she have made of the social media born long after she died? Of a world in which so many of us, entranced by the opportunity for instant expression and an immediate audience, post unformed thoughts, half-baked wit or splenetic reactions before we can even count to three?…I’m talking about a revved-up metabolism and roughened-up manners…That happens in part because the exchanges are disembodied: We don’t have to face whomever we’re lashing out at. But it’s also because they’re impulsive. Their timbre conforms to their tempo. Both are coarse…”

“Conversely, there was talk this year about the benefits of an activity that’s in some ways the antithesis of texting and tweeting with their rat-tat-tat rhythm. That activity is the reading of fiction. According to some researchers, people who settle into it are more empathetic — more attuned to what those around them think and feel — than people who don’t…” [Read more…]

Inhale people and exhale skin

andrea-balt

“I’d like to answer all my phone calls, return all emails in a timely manner and mean the how-are-yous; not hide my broken hallelujahs, not save my gratitude for characters in books. Put love on sale, like I should…I’d like to whisper to only a few souls under a blanket instead of shouting at hundreds over these virtual rooftops. I’d like to inhale people and exhale skin, explore huggability and memorize the art of breathing…I’d like to get up once a week with no other agenda than laziness in bed, no time, no musts or shoulds or have tos. Eat breakfast for dinner, juice for lunch, and talk to trees, and cry, walk backwards, love my solitude, and understand my doing by undoing.”

~ Andréa Balt



Texting Glossary for Dads

kids-texting-dad-funny


And
“WHATEVER”: They are looking for exit strategy and struggling to find one. Your point of view is completely dissed.


Source: Adapted from Themetapicture.com


Good to be wrong

black and white,portrait,

It’s my third email of the day.
I’m reading.
A member on the team is getting accolades.
I flashback to a conversation with his manager three years ago.

He’s rough. Not sure he has it. Big Risk.
“There’s talent there. Trust me.”

I send him a note: “I’m proud we’re on the same team.”

Seconds later my email is flashing with his reply.

You made my day.”

I push my chair back.

And turn my back to my desk and stare out the window.

Good to be wrong.


Image Credit


Lean in? No. Lean Back.

lean back

Excerpts From The EconomistIn Praise of Laziness:

“THERE is a never-ending supply of business gurus telling us how we can, and must, do more. Sheryl Sandberg urges women to “Lean In” if they want to get ahead. John Bernard offers breathless advice on conducting “Business at the Speed of Now”. Michael Port tells salesmen how to “Book Yourself Solid”…

Yet the biggest problem in the business world is not too little but too much—too many distractions and interruptions, too many things done for the sake of form, and altogether too much busy-ness. The Dutch seem to believe that an excess of meetings is the biggest devourer of time: they talk of vergaderziekte, “meeting sickness”. However, a study last year…suggests that it is e-mails: it found that highly skilled office workers spend more than a quarter of each working day writing and responding to them.

Which of these banes of modern business life is worse remains open to debate. But what is clear is that office workers are on a treadmill of pointless activity. Managers allow meetings to drag on for hours. Workers generate e-mails because it requires little effort and no thought. An entire management industry exists to spin the treadmill ever faster.

[Read more…]

Seldom in doubt, often wrong.

funny

Yahoo Mail.

Date Established: July 13, 2007
Date Sunsetted: August 14, 2013
6 years, almost to the day.

18,022 emails sent.
9,035 emails saved.

Loved the clean interface.
Loved the familiarity.
Loved coming to the warm hearth of home with every login.

Didn’t love its inability to import all of my contacts.
(Man has 10 friends, including family, yet has 2318 contacts. And the question would be, WHY?)
And, deplored the recent freezing and lock-ups.

Before making a change of this magnitude,
Many would research, inquire, ponder, pause.
It would have taken a second or two to Google “Six.”
Six Years on Yahoo Mail.
Wiki would have told me
that God, who I’ve yet to find,
would have said “Seven stands for completeness.”
And “Six stands for things that fall short of God’s standards.”
It would have been a signal.
To slow down.
To pause.
To wait another year.
A flashing red light from above.

[Read more…]

Get Back

Is it really that important to be constantly busy?

Is it really that important to be so engaged in social media?

or…

Introduction: Get Back from The Lincoln Motor Company on Vimeo.

Picture of Bliss

Bliss

bliss

/blis/

Noun
  1. Perfect happiness; great joy.
  2. Something providing such happiness.

 


Bliss Definition: Google

Sincerely? Best Regards? Thx? Cheers?

email closing lines


“Forget what you’ve heard about first impressions; it’s the last impressions that count. Last impressions — whether they’re with customer service, an online shopping experience, or a blind date — are the ones we remember. They’re the ones that keep us coming back. But there’s one kind of final impression that people seem to forget. The closing line of email — that line that you write before you type your name — has been all but forgotten. Go take a look at your inbox: you might be astonished at how little attention people pay to the closing lines when writing email. This underrated rhetorical device is so frequently disregarded that many people have the gall to use an automatic closing line attached to their email signature file…If a closing line can be so meaningful, so important, why are emailers squandering the opportunity, putting no thought in the closing? Time, perhaps, iPhone-finger exhaustion, multi-tasking – they’re all possible excuses. And many times, acceptable ones. We can’t be expected to neatly tie up every email every time. But once in a while, it would be delightful if people applied the same sincerity to the last impressions that we do to first ones.”


As mass producer of emails, this email & chart left its mark…


Source: Bobulate via explore-blog

Uh, oh…

internetsurfingUh, oh.  Oh boy.  No further comment.

Source: New York Times – How Depressives Surf the Internet.  Some choice excerpts:

…IN what way do you spend your time online? Do you check your e-mail compulsively? Watch lots of videos? Switch frequently among multiple Internet applications — from games to file downloads to chat rooms?

…your pattern of Internet use says something about you…research suggests it can offer clues to your mental well-being.

…There were two major findings. First, we identified several features of Internet usage that correlated with depression…the more a participant’s score on the survey indicated depression, the more his or her Internet usage included… high levels of sharing files (like movies and music).

…Our second major discovery…styles of Internet behavior that were signs of depressive people. For example, participants with depressive symptoms tended to engage in very high e-mail usage. This perhaps was to be expected: research has shown that frequent checking of e-mail may relate to high levels of anxiety, which itself correlates with depressive symptoms.

…Another example: the Internet usage of depressive people tended to exhibit high “flow duration entropy” — which often occurs when there is frequent switching among Internet applications like e-mail, chat rooms and games.

…Other characteristic features of “depressive” Internet behavior included increased amounts of video watching, gaming and chatting.


Related Posts:

Can’t. Take it. Any. More.

Sisyphus“If you feel sucked into a bottomless guilt vortex every time you look at your email inbox, this post is not for you. If you struggle to keep up with a deluge of 50, 100, 400 emails every day, go away. If you’ve clicked on this looking for tips in curtailing this incursion of correspondence, leave now. This post isn’t for you. It’s for the other guy. The one who responds immediately to every message. The one who sleeps with his smartphone.  The one who checks email on vacation.  You know who you are. And while this may be hard for you to hear, it needs to be said: you’re ruining everything for the rest of us.  Every time you check your email while on vacation you make it just a little bit harder for me not to. Every time you fire off an email at 11pm, you make a capillary explode in one of my eyeballs. Every time you send me an email asking, "Did you get my email?" — especially if you sent said email within the last 24 hours — I drown a kitten in a bag.  Okay, that’s not true. No animals were harmed in the writing of this post. Except for this particular human animal, who has gotten to a point with her email where she just. Can’t. Take it. Any. More.  Sisyphus had a better chance of keeping that boulder on top of that hill than I do of keeping on top of my email…I will never, never, never have more time for email, next week or any other week, no matter how much false hope I harbor. Also, I think there are better ways for me to spend 3 hours out of a (purportedly) 40-hour work week.”

Read more of this great post @ HBR Blog Network: The Responsiveness Trap


Related Posts:

Internet Friendships…


Related Posts:

Source: Adapted from Themetapicture.com

Should I check E-Mail?

Thank you swiss-miss for share via Forbes Managing Distraction: How and Why to Ignore Your Inbox

Related Posts:

  1. How Well Do You Manage Distraction?  Take Three Minute Quiz.
  2. You Are Not As Busy As You Think
  3. Stress Levels Climbing?  Taking Too Much On?  The Way Out is Through.

If you can’t entertain yourself with your own thoughts, then go ahead and text, Plato…

From WSJ.com: Culture City: Theaters Still Vexed by the Text

Recent article in the Wall Street Journal on texting that was written for me.  Author outlines the top 10 reasons why you shouldn’t text in the theatre (and it’s applicable for meetings, movies, seminars, dinners, etc).  I’ve excerpted my top 5 of her 10…good article – I would encourage you to read it in its entirety…

9. You’re rotting your brain. (Multitasking is bad for you.  It reduces your ability to focus and think deeply about task at hand.  If you can’t think deeply, you can’t feel deeply, which means you’re missing out on a rich, creative interior life.)

8. It’s annoying to other people who are trying to watch the show.

7. Maybe the show isn’t boring. Maybe it’s you. (…if you can’t entertain yourself with your own thoughts, you’re in bad shape. For centuries, philosophers have grappled with the concepts of love, beauty, religion, the meaning of life…Have you exhausted all that? If so, then go ahead and text, Plato.)

4. You’re not “in the moment.” (…Set an intention for your practice of watching a show. Separate yourself from the demands of your world. Be mindful of what you are experiencing. Hug every breath, and inhale that theater air.)

1. You’re missing the obvious.  It’s just plain rude.

I am a hoarder.

Yep. That’s me.  A digital hoarder.  Good article in this week’s Wall Street Journal called Drowning In Email, Photos, Files?  Hoarding Goes Digital.  Here’s 2 excerpts on what defines a hoarder and what to do about it:

“There are no official criteria for ‘digital hoarding’ but there are some tell-tale signs:

  • You’ve exceeded your 7 gigabytes of free space in Gmail and have to buy more.
  • Deleting anything makes you anxious—even things you can’t remember why you saved.
  • You spend more time searching for a file than it would take to download it again.
  • You have dozens of icons on your desktop and don’t know what they’re for.
  • You can’t remember all your email or social-media accounts or how to access them.
  • You have flash drives scattered in drawers, pockets and purses and no idea what’s on them.
  • Of your thousands of digital photos, the vast majority are duds.
  • You have entire seasons of bad TV shows you have no intention of watching.

[Read more…]

Emails and Files: Searching. Searching. Searching. Never Finding. Frustrated?

I’m a pack rat with emails and files.  Current count: 287,658 going back more than 10 years.  (That’s a topic for another day.)  If you use Microsoft Outlook as your core email software program and if you spend any amount of time searching for documents, files or emails, a software solution is a must-have addition to your efficiency arsenal.   I have tried manual solutions (see Cro-Magnon Man Method below) and a significant number of software solutions.  I’ve used X1 for over 5 years now.  I use it multiple times daily and it is an indispensable productivity and efficiency tool for me.

  1. DK’s Cro-Magnon Man Method:  I created a number of specific folders in outlook.  Then I would drag and drop. Sounds good but Folders bulge with emails.  Then need to be archived.  WAY too slow.  Archaic.  For-getta-about-it.
  2. Google Desktop:  Used older version.  Free is good.  Didn’t search Outlook emails. Too messy.  Believe they may have discontinued Desktop.  Source: Google Desktop
  3. Lookeen.  Price at ~ $30 is reasonable.  It works.  But couldn’t handle the vast emails that I had in various PSTs.  Good basic solution.  Source: Lookeen
  4. Outlook’s Built-in Email Search:  Free is good.  Integrated into Outlook.  Doesn’t index old archived files in PSTs.  Slows down Outlook.  Source: Microsoft Outlook
  5. Xobni:  The new kid on the block.  Social network connections blocked by corporate firewalls.  Slows down outlook.  Interesting eye candy information – much of it not useful to me.  Source: Xobni.com
  6.  X1: Winner by a landslide. $49.95. Lightning fast. Fully integrated with Outlook. Indexes every word in every email and every file – finds files and emails as fast as you can type.  Indexes all archived files.  Handles email and file tonnage with ease.  Can search by sender, receiver, file type, keyword.  You can open, delete, print,email and drag and drop files directly from X1.  Terrific, clean interface.  Source: x1.com

One word of warning.  If you can’t remember keywords or file names or something unique to tie you to the search, no software will help you with memory recall.  And if you are searching using a common word or name, you can get hundreds of search results that you’ll have to wade through.  (For example, if I was searching for an email with the word “soup” in it, X1 returns 350 emails with the word “soup” in it. I used Soup as the name of a newsletter a few years back.  You would need to either scan all of the emails or simply add another search parameter to chop it down.  If I added a sender (me) and a recipient (Jack Smith), this would reduce the email count to < 5).

If you have a better email/file search system or program, I would be keenly interested in hearing about it.

Image Sources: X1 & Tangle-Tree-Interiors

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