Wrapping things up

After spending the better part of my Saturday putting a dent in my Christmas shopping list, I’m feeling much better about where I stand regarding the holidays. I made a personal vow not to be shopping on Dec. 24 (at least not just beginning this year’s effort!).

I’ve spent the week learning about the threats consumers face as a result of using mobile technology. Many times, not even actually using it, just having it turned on in your pocket.  It seems whenever we venture out with our smartphones, we’re setting ourselves up to be a victim.  Now, to be truthful, victim may be harsh, but it is probably accurate because many times personal information regarding our activities is being collected and most of us are not even aware.

As we unrelentingly download apps onto our mobile devices, we open windows for the world to peek in on our activities. Unfortunately many people don’t realize that data may be being collected that enables third parties to paint a picture of their lives.  I thought about this today when I was wrapping up my holiday shopping!

 

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Altered Routines

Technology has many impacts on our lives. It’s certainly helpful, in a sense that it makes many things much easier compared to a decade ago.  I thought about this during the past weekend when I drove past a library that was closed on Saturday.   Libraries use to be packed with students doing research and people browsing the latest magazines and books, not to mention music.  Not so, these days.  Now, it’s just way too convenient to grab your phone, tablet or laptop and find what you want in usually just a few minutes.

The same applies to how we learn about what is happening in the world around us. The first thing I do when I begin each day is grab my mobile device and scan the headlines from a couple of different national news sources to compare perspectives.  Then I log onto a local news source to see what is happening in the local area.  Our ability to quickly access and scan news headlines has changed how we gather information each day.  Not so many years ago, we waited for the newspaper – which hopefully wasn’t soaked when we grabbed it off of the driveway.

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Happy Cyber Monday

Before heading off to work this morning, I decided to do a little pre-holiday browsing. Nothing serious, just testing the waters to see what might be out there in terms of what gifts I might be able to find for my family.  After all, it is Cyber Monday.

We ventured out past a shopping center during the Thanksgiving weekend and I think I’d much rather shop from my recliner this year.  While I’m certain I’ll find myself doing a bit of my usual last-minute scramble in the mall, our ability to find nearly anything online has transformed how we shop – and live.

It wasn’t all that long ago when our only option to round up all of those holiday gifts was to prepare to slog it out in the stores with the rest of the shopping crowd. Sure, we could order through the catalog for some things, but most of the real shopping got done in the mall or local stores.

As technologies evolve, our holiday shopping should get easier. In fact, shopping throughout the year should become easier.  Retailers already show us items we’ve purchased in the past.  In time, items will be presented to us based on the current season and even time of day we made a purchase.  Maybe not as much fun as the mall, but much more convenient.  Time to go decorate.

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Changing habits

I just returned from the grocery store. It took a couple of precious weekend hours to pick up a few items I need for the week and a few select items for tonight’s dinner.  Earlier in the day, we stopped by the pet store to pick up dog food and a few other essentials for our dog.  It seems like I spend a lot of free time traveling about on the weekend and sometimes during the week to pick up things we need – often the same things.  Many items are things we use on a recurring basis.  There’s got to be an easier way to do this.

In today’s world of online shopping, a service that is emerging and gaining in popularity is online grocery delivery. One service that comes to mind is offered by Amazon.

Amazon’s service allows shoppers to set up recurring delivery of products you know you use on an ongoing basis. Some things that come to mind are pet food, paper products, bread, and soft drinks.  There’s a balance though in terms of time versus cost.  Some of the items are going to cost more through the use of this service, but time saved may be more important.

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Changing ingredients

Welcome to Otero Sky. It’s not what you think; it’s how you use the thoughts that are often generated in the most serene settings. The actual Otero sky is found over White Sands national near the Sacramento Mountains of New Mexico – in Otero County.  It’s a perfect place to let those world-changing thoughts quietly float into your mind – and the online version of the sky is a similar place where thoughts, ideas and opinions abut how technologies and media are changing our world.

Most of what we do each day is somehow linked to new technologies, including emerging media.  The ways in which we communicate with each other, how we work, buy things, plan vacations or pay bills has been shaped by emerging media technologies.

One of the things I most enjoy is cooking for my family on the weekends. It’s not that we don’t eat during the week, but busy schedules limit the time dedicated to food and its preparation.  As I was deciding what I would make this weekend I grabbed my tablet and began a quick recipe search for what I was interested in making.  A few years ago, I would have likely started that search in the cabinet that holds the dozens of cookbooks I’ve collected to find just the right recipe.  However, in a matter of just a few minutes I easily found what I needed.  Even better, I found a video guide on YouTube that offered easy-to-follow instructions that I was able to reference while I prepped dinner.  Before the mid-1990s, this would not have been the case.  There was a lot more trial and error involved in cooking.  Today, you can easily search, find and learn in a few short minutes.  This is just one practical example of how the world is constantly being transformed through emerging media.

Here’s a great article from The Atlantic that takes a closer look at how emerging media has changed how we cook.

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