I experience a Pavlovian response every time I hear a ding, beep, trill or fanfare notification alert. Each of my far away babies have their own personal text noise in my phone and I jump like I’m on fire every time one of them texts me. I get particularly excited when I hear from my oldest, who is not as communicative as her sister (insert Mom guilt here, if she is reading.)The only real boundary I have set is plugging in my phone DOWNSTAIRS at night…far away from my itchy, always checking hands.
Being able to access the internet from my phone is both the best and worst feature of technology in this modern age. I love the convenience of comparing Amazon’s price while standing in a store, confirming the exact age of James Spader, or finding directions to the closest Chipotle. By contrast, the 24 hour a day accessibility of the ENTIRE UNIVERSE OF KNOWLEDGE is exhausting for someone like me who is constantly curious and always fearful of missing out. I can NOT put the stupid thing down…especially now that I have upgraded to Iphone 6 Plus and can actually SEE it with my old eyes!
At the invitation of my writing friend Kelly in this week’s Friday Five link-up entitled 5 Open Tabs, I decided to explore which websites I visit most frequently on my phone and on my computer. Here are my top 5:
No surprise here. I have a love-hate relationship with Facebook. I take the Facebook app on and off my phone continually in an effort to self-regulate my tendency to use FB as a tool for procrastination and avoidance. I play a game with myself where I take the app off my phone, but then sneakily open FB in the web browser because, obviously, checking it there doesn’t count. I turn off the notifications and turn them back on, fearful I might miss something. Because I spend a fair amount of my time alone, FB is my abbreviated attempt at connection with the outside world. I love the camaraderie, the humor, the inspiration, the ideas and the chance to encourage others. As long as I remember we are all only sharing our highlight reels on FB, I enjoy the opportunity to stay current with the lives of my friends. The fact Facebook can also be poison when we fall prey to competition and comparison sometimes makes me want to shut it down forever. I wrote about this tension last fall in these two posts. The Truth about Barbie and Ken and Facebook Friendships: Barbie and Ken, Part 2. Check them out, if this is an issue that resonates with you!
I ask Siri or Mr. Google lots of questions. 9 out of 10 times, up pops a Wikipedia page on said topic. The aforementioned query on James Spader’s age while watching Blacklist, the history of Moses having horns in many works of art, the origin of the Pope’s attire, the most frequently used medications for Alzheimers, the name of the recent trilogy by Ken Follet on the 20th century and the marital history of Brian Wilson of the Beach Boys are some highlights of recent visits to Wikipedia. I love the fact we can instantly satisfy our curiosity about the world by just asking. I still find the internet to be a bit magical and as long as I have a computer, I could never be bored. There is SO much to learn! By the way, feel free to ask me questions in the comments if any of the subjects above interest you. Or just ask Siri. She is really smart.
Before you find me to be hopelessly shallow, I was relieved to find I also visit Bible Gateway quite frequently. Aren’t I very devout and holy? 🙂 My favorite feature, besides having access to any bible verse in half the time it takes me to unzip my fancy bible cover, is the ability to translate a passage into a variety of translations. I use this feature daily. The subtleties of language fascinate me and I love reading particular verses in different translations to see how it might deepen my understanding. I also occasionally look up the history of the book or the origin of the word in the language in which is was written. I am an eternal student and I love the ability to geek out a little when reading God’s word.
Amazon Prime is my secret boyfriend. Ok, not very secret if you examine my American Express which is the card linked to my Amazon account. Because my children and husband also know my Amazon log in information, let’s just say that Amazon is considering building a warehouse across the street from my house. It is ridiculous and amazing and frankly a little frightening the extent of products available for purchase on Amazon. With a child currently living abroad, we have recently discovered the German Amazon site. I remember when we were young and poor, I dreamed of the day I could go shopping with no children and a bit of money in my purse. Now that both are realities, I have no interest in shopping so I order almost everything we need or want online. Vitamins, sheets, a selfie stick, a computer desk, a coat, a back pack, toy models, a mug and jewelry are in my Last 6 Months list. And the books….oh all my beautiful books. I am actually addicted to my iPhone AND books. Also, it actually freaks me out sometimes how quickly Amazon gets things to my house. Like they are watching me and anticipating my every need. If they ever get the drone thing approved, I will let them know I would like my personal delivery drone to be purple. Amazon Prime, I love you forever.
And, last but not least, I spend a great deal of time HERE. While it may be obvious to you I spend time here writing my posts, I must confess I spend an equal amount of time checking back to see if anyone is reading my posts. For those unfamiliar with the secret life of bloggers, we LIVE for comments, likes, shares, views and visits. I have access to a stats page which gives me insights into how many people are reading, how they are finding me, which posts they like best, how many different pages they read while visiting and the most popular time of day for views. Don’t worry, this information does not include your name or any other identifying characteristics. I am notified on the app on my phone when you like my posts or, even better, comment on my posts. I would be embarrassed for you to see how overjoyed that particular notification noise makes me. The vulnerability required to post our words on the internet takes courage for most of us and while we would like to say it doesn’t matter, we yearn to know our words are landing somewhere. Bottom line, if you love me, you will like, share and comment on my posts. It is my love language.
Since I have told you where I hang out on the interwebs, tell me your favorite spots in the comments below (remember the emotional manipulation about comments above?)
Now go check out the other Friday Five Open Tabs over at Kelly’s blog Mrs. Disciple! Click on the photo below.