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December 31, 2011

My Tech New Year's Resolutions Part 3: New Rules & Tech Faux Pas

image from i1137.photobucket.comLooking forward to 2012, I can't help but think about the new tech rules and laugh at some common tech faux pas.

The Bloggess started me off with a tweet last night about someone sitting on the plane next to her who was boldly demonstrating Tech Faux Pas #1: In public places, respect others by managing your electronic volume. Take some time to understand how to use earpphones and volume controls.

While this may sound fuddy duddy, just put yourself in the Bloggess' place:

image from i1137.photobucket.com

 I went on the USS Nimitz trip with the Bloggess - I know she is not someone to be messed with.

Tech Faux Pas #2 - Your ears want a break: Dear people, give us ears a break and manage the noise level when listenting to technology. Please remember that us "ears" need to be taken care of as well (starting as kids). You're not a starfish. Hearing does not grow back. Mess us ears up now, and you'll wind up being one of those people sitting in the movie theater turning to your friend and asking, "WHAT DID THEY SAY?"

Tech Faux Pas #3 - Note to tech companies - please stop with all the patent fighting for things that are common functionality:

Especially as a blogger - I respect the value of patents and copyrights. But common functionality should be something we see across all gadgets. Innovation is enough to make a product stand out on their own. And you KNOW who I'm talking about (fruit baskets, anyone?)

Tech Faux Pas #4 - Note to content companies - a screen is a screen:  New York Times writer David Carr wrote an interesting article on "New Rules For The Way We Watch" where he proclaimed "a screen is a screen".  Carr explained that the "old dividing line between television, radio, Web and print disappear between the four corners of a tablet". I think that the dividing line is disappearing between all screens. So content companies - please make it easier to view your content across my screens (I have lots of them). I am happy to pay for content directly as long as I can see it across my screens. And by the way, my tween only watches content through his smartphone, laptop and gaming console. So the future is here. Just check out TheGoToMom's online video content site for moms - she gets it!

Tech Faux Pas #5 - Beware of the fan people: I have seen too many people buy technology because all of their friends and fanboys/girls say "it is the best technology in the world" - but it ends up not being a great fit for them. Or they buy something expensive and fancy when they really just want simple functionality. I suggest everyone make a resolution (new rule) this year to analyze their own workflow, what technology they use already and what features they need. Then pick the technology that matches their needs and workflow instead of listening to the fan people.  My tech new years resolution is to simpifly my life by updating my family technology to fit with our family lifestyle. I started by buying a new TV, but this leads to the next tech faux pas.

Tech Faux Pas #6 - Buying a new piece of technology that is out of date the next day: Ok, maybe not the next day but one new rule we all need to accept is that technology is moving at a faster pace then we can keep up with. As someone who reviews technology, I personally witness on a regular basis testing out a new piece of technology, then hearing the next week of a new product that is even more advanced. Instead, I suggest anyone buying a new piece of technology do their homework and try to "buy forward".

Thirteen years ago we bought the most advanced TV we could at the time, even though it weighed one million pounds (OK, really it was 104 pounds). That TV lasted 13 years and when we finally decided to replace it, we purchased for the future. Our new TV is Internet/WiFi ready and 3D compatible. For my laptops, I always look for the fastest processors, advanced graphics capabilities, greatest amount of RAM and other key features.

For my smartphone, I waited for the 4G version that had a great camera for video and pictures as well as the ability to have my contacts/calender items updated via the cloud.

I also look for accessories that can extend the technology I have instead of buying new techology. For example, instead of buying a Karaoke machine to entertain my friends on New Years, I bought a Microphone that plugs into my tablet and uses a Karaoke app. Instead of buying a new projector to display presentations, I am looking for a mobile project that plugs into my laptop or tablet.

Other then the general tech blogs such as Ubergizmo and CNET, I recommend my mom tech blogger sites to find out the latest and greatest in family tech. A fellow mom blogger, Michelle McGraw, created a Tech Mom Blogger Skinny Scoop list  (including CoolMomTech) that is a great start. Other valuable resources are tech dads, MomBlogMagazine, Techlicious and tools such as Decide.com and other online shopping sites.

Tech Faux Pas #7 - Quality, not Quantity: I am heading to CES 2012 in a few weeks and hope that companies will focus on creating a few products REALLY well instead of a rainbow of mediocraty.

Tech Faux Pas #8 - We're not "Neo" in the movie The Matrix: Yes, let's just accept that being plugged into social networking and the online world is a part of the way we interact in the modern world. However, to balance that, everyone needs to find a way to unplug when "real" people or situations need your attention. And not in the car... the online world can wait until you get out from behind the wheel.

The new rule should be to embrace the new modern tech-based communication, but not at the expense of real life communications. Which leads to my last point...

Tech Faux Pas #9 - Facetime is not only an app: I am the worst offender at this one. While I have an amazing online community, I also enjoy "real" facetime. I still need to hug my loved ones, have people over to my house and make lunch and coffee dates. Skype is great for long distance communication, but nothing is better than real facetime.

To honor that - I head off to a day of calling loved ones and spending time with friends & family. Happy New Year!!!

Do you have any tech resolutions, faux pas or new rules to add?


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Do you know about Tiffany Shlain and her "Technology Shabbat"
She talks about it in her film "Connected" no tech from Friday sundown to Saturday sunset. I think it's a great idea, but haven't really tried to implement...

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