Category: Simple Living

“Keeping Up with the Kardashians” on Your Mobile Device?

There is no rule that we must use tablets, smartphones, and laptops 24/7, everywhere. Citing safety concerns, some municipalities have enacted ‘distracted walking’ laws to prevent people from walking into cars while checking Facebook or texting. Our time and higher brain function were already under attack before these technologies dominated our lifestyles but today, the assault is relentless. Entertainment options are a minefield on your mobile device. Putting limits on when and where to use our devices is important but controlling further distractions through quality entertainment selections will also reclaim our time and attention span. If we practice the restraint I’m advocating, we will reap the additional benefit of becoming more enlightened consumers of the arts.

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BOOKS
15 years ago, I couldn’t get enough of Anne Rice’s vampire novels and no 14-hour drive to Florida was going to interrupt my reading schedule, so using the audiobook versions, I completed two books while driving. 🙂 Today, audiobooks remain an expensive, but an effective option when reading becomes inconvenient. And since I don’t have Donald Trump type money, I make wiser book selections.

PODCASTS
As a former radio talk show junkie, of course, I became a podcast junkie but I refuse to play them in Apple’s confusing podcast app. I use Pocket Casts. Pocket Casts can even sync between your iPad and iPhone so there will be no interruptions in listening. I started out listening to 50 podcasts but today, I have narrowed that list to 15 that really add value to my life.

MUSIC
Apple’s native music app is also a confused piece of junk. Although I don’t listen to a lot of music, there are better apps out there, like EQLRZR PRO and online alternatives such as Spotify and Pandora. EQLRZR PRO handles both music and podcasts but I haven’t had a lot of success using it in this way. My wish is that someday, Pocket Casts will handle video and audiobooks as well.

LONG ONLINE ARTICLES
Not only do I use Voice Dream to review my blog posts. I use it to listen to long online articles. Just copy and paste into Voice Dream. Big time saver.

MOVIES and TELEVISION
Back in the early days of television, you could watch “The Beverly Hillbillies,” or “The Ed Sullivan Show” without feeling that you were rotting your brain. There were 3 networks, a few hundred radio stations, and where I lived, it took 5 years for a big budget movie to even get to our local theater. Today, I’ve lost count keeping up with television and movies. Few deserve your time and attention. Apple’s native TV viewer does work and I find it easy to rent or buy only QUALITY television and movies. QUALITY is whatever works for you. I have the Netflix, HBO, and CBS apps on my mobile devices, but they remain in storage. I try to record programs for later viewing on the television.

GAMING
Tell the truth, for some of us, this is the “elephant in the room.” A friend fixed this for me when looking at the amount of combat and flight simulators I had on my iPad. “Tolbert, the reason you are not writing and creating business opportunities, that you are clearly capable of, is that you are unfocused with too many $#%#&*@#!% games on that thing.” I couldn’t argue with the logic even though I hardly had the time to play with any of them. Their mere presence was a distraction. By the end of that day, I deleted all except the one that actually helps you learn about flying a plane!

BOTTOM LINE-BE RUTHLESS
When it comes to your mobile device and entertainment, ruthlessly limit or cut unnecessary activities and apps which distract from your projects, visions, goals or desired lifestyle. Forsaking “Keeping Up with the Kardashians” has enabled me to restructure this blog and now produce what is now the 60th blog post! 🙂 It’s Not That Complicated!

iPhone Photography: Blending in

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As I recently took delivery of a new iPhone SE, Apple’s smallest (and least expensive) smartphone, I recalled photographer Eric Kim’s article on this model’s significance to photography.  Kim noted that the phone’s compactness and ability to efficiently process and publish images may be all that most people really need to photograph. As one who has spent a small fortune on almost every type of camera and now practicing photographic minimalism, I revisited that idea starting with the last photo I posted.

The biggest advantage of using a small phone, especially for a street photography, if you can get used to the ergonomics, is public acceptance.  You will not be scornfully looked upon; commented negatively about, or even physically assaulted as if you are a pedophile or terrorist. You blend into the rest of the Instagram/selfie-taking public. 🙂

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