Needless to say, I love technology and it's always great to be able to test new devices and features every year. I do realize, however, that technology and my habits of always being connected lead me to stray away from good manners and special moments with those close to me.
I can say without any doubt that technology simplifies my everyday life. My smartphone is an irreplaceable companion for me (last year spending a week with the Nokia 3310 was really tough). However, there are some things I can improve upon in the new year.
- Best Android phones of 2018: our end-of-year picks
- Smartphones to keep an eye on in 2019 (coming soon)
No phone at the table and in bed
I know that placing your smartphone on the dining table is a bad habit, as well as a very uncool gesture towards the people who are sitting next to you. I know this is true, but I do it anyway. I pick up my phone and then place it next to my cutlery. I don't always do this, but sometimes I peek at notifications. It's also nice to have it handy for taking ritual photos of the food in front of me...
Yet, in 2019 I want to commit to leaving my smartphone in my bag - away from the table and the bed. The blue light filtering mode on the display helps to at least limit sleep disturbances, but when I start watching videos on YouTube or snooping around on Instagram, I can't stop. And if I can't get to sleep right away, I can't resist the temptation of checking the time on my smartphone, which inevitably leads to reading my WhatsApp messages, if I have any.
I decided that in 2019 I will leave my smartphone in the living room and use the alarm on the Google Home Mini I have in the bedroom. In general, I want to enjoy the moments and the people around me. There are situations that leave their imprint on you and it's a shame to interrupt the moment and atmosphere to take a picture on your smartphone and post it on social media.
More smartphones, less paper
Thanks to smartphones, you can avoid the unnecessary waste of paper. Reservations, tickets for events, flights and concerts can often be downloaded directly onto your smartphone and kept with dedicated apps known as wallets.
Before going straight to the printer (when I'm in the office it's almost automatic), I want to commit to making sure that I actually need a physical copy of the document or if a PDF file on my smartphone is just enough. Sometimes, I admit - it's just laziness, but in the end I know that having everything on my smartphone is much more convenient, especially since more and more companies support the use of QR codes.
Goodbye Facebook, for real
I still have a Facebook account even though I've barely used it in the past year. I used to post photos or articles of interest, but now I just open it to have a look at events going on. I suppose it's still useful from this perspective, but if you consider all the privacy problems that Zuckerberg's platform has had this year, I think it's not worth visiting the site anymore.
Uninstalling the app on your smartphone makes it easier to shake the habit of checking Facebook (and you'll save your smartphone's precious battery life), but maybe the best thing to do is just to delete your account altogether.
Getting my mailboxes in order
This time of year can be stressful, both in your work life and private life. I'll often leave emails unread because they aren't important (such as subscriptions to sites that I haven't followed for years and tons of ads), but sometimes it's difficult to tell if something is important at first glance.
In 2019, besides cleaning up useless emails still lingering in my inboxes, I want to commit myself to cancelling subscriptions to useless services, pages and groups, so I don't find myself in the same situation next December.
These are my four simple resolutions for 2019. What are yours? Let me know in the comments.