My Secret Addiction.

I admit it. I’m attached to my phone. Yes, I’m that person.

From the minute I got my first smartphone (ah, the pink crackberry…I LOVED that thing) I was addicted. But, my life was changed this past fall when I got my new partner in crime…

The 4S. Aside from Her Snarkiness, Siri (whom I love to argue with, but she’s sometimes more frustrating than helpful), this little guy has streamlined my life immensely.

Admittedly, I am not the most techy lady you’ll ever meet (and I spend time with some pretty techy people.) But I do have a few apps that have become essential to my life:

Evernote: Do you use this?! If not, try it out.  If you’re an organizing nerd like me, you’ll thank me later. It allows you to create notes with text, photo, voice and web clips. You can categorize them, tag them, create notebooks. AND, it has a desktop companion that SYNCS AUTOMATICALLY. Ah! Let me tell you, this has been amazing during my new house process. I have clip after clip of furniture options and fabric choices. I also use this for all my shopping lists; I can add to it anytime, from work or home, and always have it with me when I’m at the store. A-mazing.

YouVerson: A fabulous Bible app. It also has a web portal edition. You can access the Bible in just about any translation, download studies and it READS TO YOU OUT LOUD. Oh my gosh. I now fall asleep sometimes listening to readings. Or play it in the car on my way to work. Love.

Amazon: Admit it. We all know you can find anything you need on Amazon.com and usually for a great price. And they make an app. No explanation needed. I actually bought curtain rods while sitting in my car in a parking lot. Yes, this is my life.

Flipboard: I really like pretty things. And Flipboard is pretty. I use Google Reader on my computer (also life changing!) but Flipboard is so much more than a reader. You can not only set it up to show your Facebook, Twitter and Google Reader feeds, but you can also subscribe to a number of news feeds and blogs provided through the service. It’s like an artsy, awesome mash up of news, trends, social media and yumminess. Yep, yumminess.

I am positive that I only use about 1/130 of my phone’s abilities. Do you have a favorite app or way that technology has made your life easier? I’d love to hear!

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My Social Experiment.

Experiment might be a heavy word. Maybe observation would be more appropriate.

My birthday was last week and, as I’m sure you’ve experienced as well, I was inundated with “happy birthday” messages on my Facebook wall. I’m always so thankful for these and often it’s the first time in a while that I’ve heard from some people. So every year I try to make a point to write a thank you message back to each person individually. And this year I observed something…

I wrote 110 “thank you” replies and almost half of those people commented back or “liked” (official Facebook language here) my message to them. These are conversations, brief but still conversations, that never would have happened otherwise. I haven’t even seen some of these people in years. But,  thanks to technology, that doesn’t have to mean all hope is lost.

Later the same week I read this A-mazing article and couldn’t help but yell, “YES. This is what it’s about!”

(Read this and come back) http://www.margieclayman.com/are-you-sure-you-know-what-matters

Technology is awesome. Social media is an amazing development that has allowed our world to shrink and knowledge to be spread in the blink of an eye. But it is not about the technology. It’s about the people. The platform is just a tool. It’s how you use it that matters. All those “friends” you have on Facebook? All those followers on Twitter? THEY’RE PEOPLE. Ok, unless they’re spam. Anyway. Connect with them! Don’t just go for numbers, go for relationships. Take advantage of the opportunities that social media allows through sharing information.

If someone had walked up to me last week and said “happy birthday!” to my face, I would have said thank you. Therefore, I feel the same etiquette holds true on my social media. And look…it lead to me having some kind of human conversation with at least 50 people who I may not have had otherwise. And not only that, but all those people who took 5 seconds to send me a message know that I appreciate them and that they did make a difference in my day…and everyone needs to know that.

So take the time. It’s less about the actual technology and more about reaching your audience. Use the tools for their purpose; to connect, human to human.