YOU’RE BEING SPIED ON ANYWAY – JUST EMBRACE TECHNOLOGY

There’s an app for everything now. Want to learn a new language? There’s an app for that. Need someone to walk your dog? There’s an app for that. Looking for (incorrect) weather information? There’s definitely an app for that. Want a virtual shave? Yes, there’s an app for that. Wonder what it’s like to count a million dollars? You bet there’s an app for that. Have you always wanted to milk a cow? Well, you’re in luck, because there’s even an app for that!

Apps, apps, apps – Oprah would be in heaven. If you think about the apps on your phone, tablet, watch, computer, etc. right now most of them are probably a bit more productive than the cow milking one (maybe not though, I don’t know you). You probably have a navigation app, a weather app, some “work” apps to keep track of your calendar, expenses, documents, emails, and other adult nonsense, a social media app (or two, or three, or twelve), a “live-your-best-life” app, an app with no purpose other than to waste time, a game app, and maybe a travel app or a sports app. Sound about right? Of course it does! I’m a millennial after all – that basically makes me an app guru.

Which, for the record, being a millennial does not mean that I can troubleshoot your technological problems for you. I didn’t create or build these apps. If I did, I wouldn’t still be working my 8-8 that’s for freaking sure – I’d be living off of all the ad revenue from addicted users like yourself. So please stop asking me how to fix it. Those apps have a customer support team for a reason…ask them, it’s literally their job to help you. Someone PAYS them to help you. No one is paying me to help you.

Ironically, usually the app isn’t working correctly because you thought you could maintain some semblance of privacy in your life and decided not to let the app access your location, or your microphone, or your camera, etc. Funny thing about apps though, in my experience, they only ask to access things that are required for them to work properly. Oh, you need directions somewhere? Well it’s hard to give someone directions without knowing where they are starting from. So you want to go hands-free? Kind of hard for the phone to hear you if it can’t listen through your microphone. Are you in a foreign country and need to translate a sign? This app would do that if only it could see the sign through your camera.

Are you following me? Are you picking up what I’m putting down? Are you riding my wave? Catching my drift? Snacking what I’m packing (wow the phrases that come out of a Google Search are fantastic)? Do you really think that telling an app it can’t use your location means you’ve gone off the grid and no one can see your location EVER?! I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but you are sadly mistaken. Your technology is tracking your location, listening to everything you say, and (if it has a camera) it’s also watching you. Just not through the apps, but through the actual device. So all of your careful preparation to not allow your apps to work properly is really just a waste of time. You’ve only made your life more difficult. 

Embrace the technology! If it’s spying on you anyways, you might as well let it control the temperature in your house, automatically dim the lights, handle your grocery shopping, find a dog sitter, set a sleep schedule so you get the maximum REM cycles and feel amazing in the morning, etc. Otherwise it’s like buying a Tesla and deciding to always drive it manually…just a waste of potential and money.

Alright, jumping off my pedestal for now. If you know someone who is avoiding the full realm of possibilities with technology, share this post, freak them out, and get them to finally embrace all the available app power. Thanks for reading!


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HOW PRODUCTIVE WOULD I BE IF BUZZFEED DIDN’T EXIST?

You know all those times when you’re at work and you’ve been there all day, but that lying SOB the clock says you’ve only been there for 15 minutes. You know, like every Monday through Friday. Maybe the clock is broken? It is on the wall after all – didn’t they stop making those about 20 years ago? Must just be outdated technology…those times are the literal WORST though! Because you’ve already done an entire’s day work – much too efficiently apparently. So what’s going to fill the remaining 7 hours and 45 minutes of your time until you can leave the office without having to sneak out the bathroom window so your boss doesn’t catch you and lecture you about being committed and earning your salary and we don’t pay you to play and blah, blah, blah.

Well, naturally, since you’ve finished your work for your day, you turn to the Internet’s black hole of written context – BuzzFeed. Why not YouTube, you may be wondering? Ah, yes, the best way to waste an entire day and not even realize it. It’s simple really: have you ever gotten caught browsing a mind-numbing, unproductive site? Specifically, have you ever gotten caught by your boss on one of these sites during work hours? Clearly not if you’re asking why I’m not wasting my time on YouTube.

Let’s take a ride on the imagination rainbow then (for all you rule following, productive employees)

Scenario 1

You’re at work (hip hip hooray) and are just not feeling it – your brain has hit a wall and simply refuses to go around it in any way so nothing is getting done. You’re becoming frustrated because the deadline is approaching and you’re just now starting the project, like a true procrastinator, but you know that continuing to format and reformat and reformat and reformat the project title is not going to magically open your thoughts again, unfortunately. So you decide to do the professional thing and step away for a second and reset. Up comes YouTube and before you know it you’ve gone from cute puppy videos to watching people drop their ice cream on the ground (not by choice, though, because that would be a crime). You, all caught up in the YouTube space, have lost sense of time and (more importantly) your immediate surroundings. Your boss taps you on the shoulder and brings you back to reality in a giant state of panic. They want to know what a video about an alligator living on a golf course and eating golf clubs has to do with the market analysis on your key demographic…mmhmm I’d like to see you turn that one around without walking out of the office jobless.

Scenario 2

Once again, you’re at work (yay) and got all your tasks for the day done in under an hour. Now, to kill time until, at least, lunch you need some sort of mindless distraction. Enter BuzzFeed and it’s never ending options of articles. Before you know it, you’ve read about all of the best band reunions, the phases of Miley’s life, new and creative ways to use pumpkin in recipes, how fish may be smarter than they let on, etc. Up comes your ninja boss and gives you that ‘What the hell are you doing right now?! That doesn’t look like a roadmap presentation for leadership’ look. (Get ready for it, here’s the difference) So you return his skepticism with a logical explanation: ‘Listen, bossy boss, in order to effectively make a case for where we want the product to go, we need to understand how different trends across similar industries have impacted customers. Band reunions have gotten mixed reactions depending on how heavily publicized it is. Miley’s different stages in life have all been talked about (either in a positive or negative way), but talked about nonetheless so she was always on people’s minds. Pumpkin has long been associated with sweet things, but they’ve been able to uniquely identify and target a whole new demographic by rebranding, etc.’

MIC DROP. Two very important lessons to learn here. First, being that it’s much easier to explain away text than a video because the boss can’t really see what’s happening, so BuzzFeed has you covered there. Second, you just had a breakthrough and are about to crush that project…after lunch of course, though, because, even though it only felt like 15 minutes, 3 hours have passed.

What’s my point with all of this? Sometimes I wonder how much I could actually, not in theory, accomplish at work if BuzzFeed didn’t exist. If we’re being honest, after lunch you’re full and a little sleepy and it’s been an hour since your breakthrough and you didn’t write it down so you pretty much forgot the progress you made there and on and on and on. And so naturally, you turn back to what comforts you – the BuzzFeed black hole. It’s truly a miracle that someone pays me to come to “work” everyday, I swear.

Alright, jumping off my pedestal for now. If you know someone who tends to be super unproductive and can waste time for days online, give them a tight lipped smile and sh*t talk them behind their back because they are making your job 100x harder. On the flip side, if you are that person, then kudos to you – you know how to play the system. Thanks for reading!


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