Reading in the Age of Constant Distraction
The abundance of information on the internet can feel overwhelming at times. There is a tendency to spend a lot of time surfing the net and/or downloading files, editing files etc. once you are on-line As a result people can shut down from going online or else feel that it is too complex to use, especially if they have not gotten used to it over the years. This may be true for some older people but many older people are very computer savvy. I have one friend who is 68 and is a guru with Garage Band, a program that generates music scores on a computer screen and generates print outs of scores in different keys for different instruments.
I just love my Ipad. I have the Ipad mini which severed me well in my trip to Mexico. There are now Ipads that are cellular enabled so you don’t need to take an Iphone with you. However that is just wishfully thinking as the phone is easier to carry around. The new Ipad pro comes with a stylus for drawing programs which in on my wish list.
I can only speak about my iphones which I have been using since the Iphone4. I will list the useful apps I have on my phone and I pad and what they do. I especially like the transit apps for Translink in Vancouver and Google Maps.
Here is the highest rated phone on Amazon.
|function||name of app||ipad||iphone||purpose||frequency of use|
|3 = daily, 2 = weekly, 1 < weekly|
|entertainment||scrabble||x||x||play on line||3|
|entertainment||CBC radio||x||listen on line||1|
|entertainment||x||x||read on line||3|
|entertainment||Facetime||x||x||talk on line||1|
|entertainment||skype||x||x||talk on line||1|
|entertainment||Vancouver Public Library||x||read on line||1|
|entertainment||overdrive||x||download from library, read on line||3|
|entertainment||brainHQ||x||play on line||2|
|entertainment||clarient tuner||x||x||play on line||1|
|entertainment||optik TV||x||TV guide telus||3|
|entertainment||x||x||read on line||3|
|finances||Inverstorline BMO||x||x||read on line||1|
|finances||Vectorvest stock advisory (paid)||x||x||read on line||1|
|health||my ehealth||x||x||view lab tests on line||1|
|travel||pay by phone||x||pay on line||2|
|travel||BMO account access||x||x||read on line||2|
|travel||Hangtag||x||read on line||1|
|travel||airline apps||x||x||pay on line||1|
|travel||google maps||x||x||way finding||2|
|utilities||x||x||read on line||3|
|utilities||drop box||x||x||save files||1|
|utilities||daily notes||x||x||keeps notes||1|
|utilities||flashlight||x||view things in the dark||1|
|utilities||magnifier 30x||x||enlarge print||1|
|utilities||google drive||x||x||safe files||1|
|utilities||wordpress||x||x||post to blog||1|
The chief value of the ipod that I can listen to music, the radio or pod casts and the battery doesn’t run down as fast as the battery in the iphone so you can listed for a couple of hours.
Navigating the internet
|Set up your account. personal site created by you, open to viewing by your friends by adding them. You can upload pictures or links to other sites.||5/5 Good way to stay connected with friends and family or special interest groups. Easy to use.|
| Set up your account.
Brief news feeds from selected organizations or individuals.
|3/5. Kind of a time waster but fascinating none-the-less. Nothing required of you unless you want to retweet a feed to your followers. Easy to use.|
|Download to Iphone to post pictures. Need to set up an account||1/5 It seems popular with younger people. It could work as a photo album. You can share with selected people.|
|Skype||Download the program to computer, tables or phone. You can talk over the internet with a webcam and it is free to chat with people everywhere for free or minimal cost.||4/5 Very useful for staying in touch with friends and family.|
|Facetime||Like Skype but for MACs and IPads and Ipods||5/5 Easier to use than Skype.|
|A web site with a lot of eye candy, especially food, fashion and pets. You can post and view others posts.||1/5 Popular with a certain demographic but not very useful. The recipe pictures are several clicks away from the recipes. Very annoying|
|YouTube||view short videos about many things, including music, how to videos including many videos about computer instructions. You can save videos if you set up and account.||3/5 Entertainment, some self help. I don’t use this more than once a week.|
Downloading and uploading music- Itunes
If you want to have music or the spoken word while you walk or run, you will want to download files from your computer and/or from Itunes and upload it to your phone or ipod. You need your Apple ID and password to download. You can also download audio books and podcasts. The Itunes app will need to be installed on your computer and Iphone and and is free to use. However downloading music from Itunes costs about $ 1.00 per tune downloaded. You have to set up an Itunes account if you want to buy files to download. Itunes used to be easy to use but over the past couple of years it seems to be less user friendly. Apple is moving to a paid music subscription service call Spotify which is $10.00 a month so you can download as much music as you want. Once you download files to your computer into the Itunes program, the music will synch with your iphone and ipod by plugging the iphone or ipod into the computer USB port. You can also synch files on your computer via wifi or download files to your iphone directly from the Itunes app on your iphone.
Photos- uploading and downloading.
There are many packages for uploading photos and some are more complex than others. The easiest way is to install Icloud on your PC and IPhone. This takes about 5 minutes. You need your Apple ID and password to download the software from the Apple Store. Once it is set up on your PC you can choose what kind of files you want synched across your devices. Having you email and bookmarks synched on all your devices is a must have. I give Icloud a 4/5 but sometimes it stops working and you have to sign out and sign in again or restart or computer.
My favourite software for saving passwords is RoboForm. I have used it for over 5 years and it is free. It saves all your passwords on your PC, your IPhone and Ipad and synchs them all. It is quick and easy to install. When you log into a site it presents you with the option to automatically save the password if it has not been previously saved. And if the password has been saved you click on the name of the password and it will automatically fill in the password. The whole system can be password protected. This software gets a 5/5 from me.
This article from the Wall Street Journal is a must read for Boomers who have had the longest life time exposure to devices and for anyone with children. What has not been reported is the effect of having these distractions at work. I wonder how it has impacted on productivity?