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Stuart Lennon

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Digital Overload

overload

It’s all got too much.

I have scaled the peaks of the digital life and reached the zenith. From here on, it’s downhill.

I have a Mac, a MacBook and an iPhone. I recently sold my iPad. This combination of very cool bits of kit mean that I am never more than seconds away from my Twitter feeds, (I have three) my Facebook profile, my Linkedin, my Pinterest, my Instagram. I am almost perpetually at Inbox zero. An email arrives and like a digital ninja, I am on it. Either it is responded to, archived, or deleted. I have resolved to read more – so I keep my kindle close to hand, and just in case, I have kindle apps on all of my other devices.

Should you need to get in touch, you can comment on this blog, drop me an email on one of several addresses, send me a text, message me on one of several apps and each of my machines will ding, vibrate or beep. You may rest assured that I will be aware of your communication in seconds.

I may of course, not respond instantly. I may be tied up. I may be updating my blog, scheduling my social media to tell you that I have updated my blog or even reading your blog. I may be checking that my feeds on feedly, medium, bloglovin and others that I have undoubtedly forgotten, are up to date. It is possible that I am resolving sync problems between my fitbit and my iPhone. How on earth can I lose weight if my phone is not correctly reporting daily steps? It may be that I am searching Myfitnesspal for the correct calorific value of 40g of porridge oats. If you can’t measure it, you can’t manage it, right?

If I am setting off for a meeting, preparations begin the night before. Laptop, iPhone, Fitbit all fully charged, chargers in bag too. (Just in case). Location of meeting entered onto device to ensure map available. Ensure that all recent communications with person that I am meeting are instantly available on all devices. I can revise on the train. Check out linked in profiles, Google +, Facebook. What music do I want? Playlists up to date? Which headphones? Noise-cancelling? Right – best check the battery levels.

Then I need to update the calendar app – which in turn will update my wife’s calendar, so that she can be sure what train I’m on, where I’m going and what for. Obviously, her life won’t be complete unless she knows this. Once I get to London, I’ll take a quick snap and post some status updates. My friends in Ireland will undoubtedly be fascinated to know what the weather is like in London.

It’s a wonder that I have any time at all for work or relationships or indeed life at all.

At some point, the machines took over. The thousands of ways that technology was helping me, became the thousands of ways that it was oppressing me.

I’m fighting back.

I have ordered a diary. A big book made of paper and card. In it, I will plan my time. What an innovator I am. In this new-fangled thing, I will block off bits of time to check my e-mail, my social media and feeds. I’ll do these things at MY convenience.

I have ordered a ‘dumb’ phone. It can make and receive phone calls. It can send and receive text messages, although only by using the numbers as a keyboard, so you should not expect too much. With only a dumb phone, I shall have to keep myself ‘connected’ only at scheduled times and at my keyboard. I fear that the world may stop turning – but I probably won’t notice without ‘notifications’.

punkt_angled

Calorie control, both input and burn. Well, I am going to eat less food. I am going to eat more ‘simple’ food and less ‘complex’ food – i.e. avoid the manufactured crap pushed at us from all sides. When I walk the dog, I’m going to count the flowers or the birds and not the steps. Maybe I’ll try to walk a little further. I’ll know its working if my clothes start getting a bit looser.

I daresay that the iPhone with all of its apps and the fitbit will be waiting for me in the desk drawer, but I’m quite looking forward to unplugging. Although…what am I going to do in restaurants while everyone else checks their phones?

 

 

Swimming

Swimming Walrus

In a preemptive comment, I can confirm that the picture is not in fact of me. It is an image from a You Tube clip posted here by Heinrich Eggenfellner. Although, there is a striking likeness in a certain light.

Earlier this month I posted about my first, and last, spinning class.

Wisely, I am pursuing an exercise regime more appropriate for a man of my age and size. I am walking the dog, playing golf and swimming. Usually not at the same time. I am even paying some attention to what I eat and drink. Shocking, I know.

To call me a strong swimmer would be a little inaccurate. Alright, it would be entirely inaccurate. Rather than powering through the water like our tusky friend above, I sort of float aggressively. There is forward motion, in much the same way that glaciers do move, but you would be hard pressed to actually perceive it. You may have experienced something similar before. Lying on a beach in the morning, you might catch sight of a large tanker out to sea. It appears stationary, yet when you pack up at the end of the day, it has most definitely moved across the horizon. Watching me swim is like that, but with more splashing.

I try to tuck myself into half a lane (it gets busy where I swim) and float along without causing too much harm. I always have a cheery smile for the pensioners as they pass me, walking sideways through the water. I try to keep out of the way of the proper swimmers as they power up and down with designer clothes pegs on their noses and lycra condoms on their heads.

As the traffic passes me on both sides, I console myself that even going this slowly, I am getting some exercise, moving my muscles and burning some calories. I also have plenty of time to people-watch.

There is one fellow that is fascinating me at the moment. Like me, he is a fat boy. I see him when I am at the pool in the evenings. Usually, he emerges from the sauna, hot and flustered.

He sits himself down on a wooden lounger and pulls out a book, which he reads for ten minutes or so. (Almost a full length of the pool for me). Then he rinses himself in the shower.

This next part is the part that mystifies me. He then puts on a pair of flippers. Full-blown, honest-to-goodness scuba diving flippers. Then on goes the clothes-peg and the goggles. Into the pool, three kicks, two arm strokes and he bangs his head against the far wall. Then he turns around and does it again.

The pool is only twenty metres long. He looks like some sort of demented pin ball being fired at the far wall, before bouncing back.

Why would someone do that? Go to the pool to do some exercise, then put on flippers to avoid doing the exercise.

Don’t get me wrong – if that’s what he wants to do, then fine by me.

But why?

Perhaps I should ask him.

If I time it right, I can surely outrun a fat guy who is wearing flippers?