Musings on apps

Please read the foreword to this before continuing reading. Thank you for your patronage! *salutes*

We have too many apps. WAY TOO MANY. I’m sure for kids born into the smartphone age, they can never imagine living without apps. How am I going to keep my schedule without a timetable app!? Ok…so maybe I’m exaggerating…but we really do have too many apps.

I understand of course that the diverse offerings we have are a result of entrepreneurial spirit and hopes to make everyone’s lives easier. There is just one problem with this concept, how does making you live off your phone make life easier?

If your life is in your phone, then when your phone dies..well so does your life. Of course real smart phone junkies will now look at me with a vilified expression and tell me about all these wonderful portable batteries and charging accessories we can utilize and I’d pointedly ignore them. I agree apps make many things more convenient. A tipping app sure beats having to calculate your tips when drunk, productivity apps makes working on the go more efficient…but when you sit down and think about it, some apps really defeat their purpose.

Apps that fall into this category for me are lifestyle apps. If downloading apps are a way to a healthy lifestyle then why oh why are there still so many fat and obese people? I downloaded a sleeping app a while back, mainly to keep track of my sleeping habits and sleep debt. I deleted it after 2 weeks. The app is technically supposed to help you sleep better…or at least sleep enough. They just didn’t take into account that when you are dead tired and want to lie on your bed, you don’t exactly have the energy to ‘punch in’ and when you have the energy to punch in you probably don’t fall asleep right away. I ended up with screwy sleep debt. Ok so that may be the fault of my own laziness but people think about it. The whole point of this app is to make my life healthier and more convenient, instead I have to spend my time fretting over my sleep debt and remembering to punch in and out of my app. Sleeping became a stressful routine. I feel so much better napping and waking whenever I like, without having to make the extra step to grab my phone from wherever it lays to tap a stupid button.

So okay 1 failed app. What about others? The stupidest one I’ve seen thus far is one that talks about maintaining a good eyesight. You know, like watch these videos and look at these pictures to help retain your eyesight. I think you know what’s wrong with this right? The app is supposedly trying to help you prevent your eyesight from failing but it does so by increasing the amount of time you spend looking at a screen. No, I really don’t see the point of this. In fact even some productivity apps leave me bewildered about its supposed efficiency. You see the thing with productivity apps, liken note taking ones and to-do lists are that they are offering a whole new way of organizing your thoughts and life, that you have to follow in order to get the most out of your new app. You gotta type your notes a certain way, assign your tasks in a certain way, spend hours inserting your calendar into it…on a whole it takes so much damn effort to really get any productivity out of these apps that I’d rather just save my time and my life by scribbling in a note book where I can have my to-do list, random thoughts and timetable on the same page, in short hand that I can understand (because the app simply isn’t smart enough to understand where to file “mom money”).

I know that apps give the illusion of making life more streamlined and convenient by converging everything on your phone and to a certain extent, it does and if you master the use of one, it may actually radically change your life for the better. But truth of the matter is, so much of it requires a learning curve that isn’t justified that you can be equally efficient in life without it. If I had the time to plonk my life into my phone, I’d rather spend that time taking the lives on pigs on my phone if you get my drift.


Musings on apps

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