Where is the Manual?

Does it seem to you that there is a lot of redundancy in social media these days?

I could add more logos, but that would make for a long post.  This morning I was messing with the settings on Instagram, trying with all my might to understand how it works.  Even more of a mystery to me is why it works . . . or to be more to the point, why anyone cares if it works.  (Inquiring minds want to know . . . and to be "in the know," if you know what I mean.  No?)  So here's the conclusion I came to:  If you want to send a photo, why not just take a photo with your phone and email it?  Finally, I gave up on this weighty matter and closed it out.

A few minutes later I received my questionable instagram experimental image back through email from Mike who inquired, "Was this a test?"  (Sigh.)

I mean, whatever would give him that idea?  You get the point, don't you?  It's art!  (By the way, that ever-so-slightly light spot at the bottom middle of the image is George.  If you look very, very, very closely, you can make out his pointy ears.)  Would I be wrong in saying that this image is at least as good as anything else I've seen on Instagram?  Ouch.  I think I might have sprained my tongue poking it into my cheek.

So this morning I've been trying to figure out which social media apps are simply taking up room on my iPhone/iPad screen (most) and which are really useful (mostly none).  I'm a champion at downloading apps and then never even opening them to see how they work.  

They're very nicely organized, however, because I know how to make folders on my screen.  All my photography apps are in one folder, all my quilting apps are in one folder, all my travel apps are in one folder, all my readers (I only use one of the six I have) are in their own folder.  Honestly, the palm of my hand is beginning to feel extremely cluttered.  If my house looked anything like my phone, I'd probably be hauled away for hoarding.

Here's another thing that requires having an engineer for a husband to be able to figure it out.  So there are international calling and international data plans that should give me the ability to make phone calls, send text messages, write blog posts, etc.  But here's the rub:  which of those will cost me data usage, and which will cost me some other kind of usage.  The pricing is all very confusing, and I can't tell data from data.  Use the wrong kind of data, and you could wind up with a nice little bill at the end.  By "little" I mean "big".

As I write this, Mike is figuring out the most cost-effective way for me to be linked into the world wide web while I'm in Ireland.  It's really quite a miracle when you think about it.  When Mike and I traveled in Europe in 2000, it was quite an undertaking to find an internet cafe.  And we were at the mercy of folks working there not to steal us blind.  This was pre-Euro zone, and so every country had its own currency.  We didn't know a crown from a peso.  That meant that we simply emptied all of the money out of our pockets onto the counter in front of us and allowed the employee of the internet cafe to take whatever he or she wanted.  We celebrated if there was money left to put back into our pockets.

Making a telephone call was even more difficult.  We first had to find and purchase a sort of credit card looking thing, and then slide it into the phone, then dial about 35 different numbers, and Voila!  We were connected.  Someone even answered!  Now, making an international phone call is no more difficult than pressing a few buttons on one's cell phone . . . for a cost, of course.  But honestly, I think it's pretty amazing.

All things electronic have moved in the realm of magic for me.  I think I've said before that I was lost when FAX machines came along.  Since then, everything has been smoke and mirrors.  I could not even begin to explain to someone how it all works.  I love that it works.  I live with being an idiot about it.

I don't think I have any point to make here.  I'm just sweeping away the cobwebs from my mind so that I can make up a grocery list.  Ahhhhhhhh . . . something I understand.  I haven't done enough sewing lately.  Can you tell?

6 comments from clever and witty friends:

WoolenSails said...

I was wondering about that too. My son has an iPad and I was wondering if he could face time me, when he goes to malaysia.


tubilinha tiacarminha said...

Gargalhadas por aqui.Eu não sei e não tenho muito dessas coisas,FB,T,I.Mal sei pular de um blog para outro,enviar um comentário...E quero ter o meu blog,como?Se não sei se vou saber tanta tecnologia.Minhas filhas estão fazendo pressão para que eu tenha minhas coisas expostas,tenho até uma dianteira para isso mas...Não sei.O que eu vejo e leio é que tem gente ensinando e outras reclamando de minha língua Português do Brasil,e pedindo para só postar em Inglês,recebi vários email com isso.Acho que o tempo que aprendi e adorar costura devia ter sido gasto com um curso de Inglês.kakkakk.Tenha uma boa viagem e divirta-se.Se por acaso acontecer algum limão,não faça a tradicional limonada e sim uma bela sobremesa.Beijos.

Colleen said...

I paid a a premium for a months service when I lived in Germany for a month one summer a few years ago. It was great to get alittle data. I was studying in a library all day and would down load pod casts and books and movies etc for entertainment at night. Hard rock cafe,apple store and fast food restaurants were great places for free internet. I once skped my parents form the Hard Rock while they were sitting our side a tiny library (borrowing their wireless) in the middle of nowhere ontario CA. So cool!

Kate said...

I'm lost. Thankfully when my guy travels overseas we are able to instant message over work connections. He goes places where this is no cell phone coverage (like the middle of the ocean!).

SewCalGal said...

I agree. There are so many it can be overwhelming. I certainly don't know them all, but the ones I've checked out all seem to be competing for the dream of being the best, getting the most revenue, etc. Yet, many of the top dogs still offer value to general users of their service and businesses too.

Google + is one that I hope will be the first to go. Total waste, but Google is trying hard to compete with Facebook.


PS - Pick your favorites and stick with them, as long as they benefit you!

Dana Gaffney said...

I agree with you about the instagram, I don't get it, I know it's Artsy but I'd rather do it on a computer if I want to mess with a picture. I think Face Time is the way to go if Mike has an IPhone, of course I'm thinking like an American where there is free wireless everywhere.