Category Archives: COMPUTERS

BLOGGER’S LAMENT  (JAP)*


 

My friend Elaine lent me a delightful collection of poetry titled The Last to Leave by Margaret Clough. It’s her second collection of poetry, engaging with the issues of aging and mortality, but in a light, warm-hearted tone which makes the collection a pleasure to read.  The Cape Times said “Joyful and plump with life”, and I couldn’t agree more. Ageing doesn’t have to be  gloomy! I loved the following poem and I’m sharing it with you, because I’m pretty sure many of us have undergone the same awful experience:

BLOGSPOT BLUES – by Margaret Clough

I’ve lost my blog. Where can it be?

I think it has unfriended me.

It disappeared into the cloud

I shake my fist. I cry aloud.

I punch the keys, but all in vain.

It doesn’t like my user-name.

 

*(Just a Paragraph:  when I’m short of time and/or inspiration, I keep my blog ticking over with ‘just a paragraph’; random thoughts, reflections, comments, ideas … little snippets)

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FACING UP TO FACEBOOK


 

 

 

Facebook: you either love it or hate it. There doesn’t seem to be any middle ground.  Youngsters are embryonically attached to it, parents peer at their  kids’ friends and activities, while  the elderly regard it with suspicion or disdain. Take your pick.

Personally, I find it very useful . I like Facebook. It’s mighty useful, to keep in touch with far-flung friends and family, not to mention displaying your photos, and to share the odd article, or joke, or WordPress blog, or – even – dare I admit to this: LOL Cats.  Ahem.  Can’t resist anything kitty related. None of us are perfect, so get over it.

But my approach to Facebook is stringent. I set the timer for ten minutes – and that’s it.  When I log in, I pay attention to the first ten items on the news feed page, and click ‘like’ or make a comment. I’ve picked up useful household hints on the Newsfeed page, plus info on crime in my area. Plus more positive things like triumphs  and travels  in  my friends’ lives that I otherwise wouldn’t have known about.

Then I whizz over to my personal page info bar at the top of the page, click on the little globe, up pop the notifications and I click on the blue tag at the bottom ‘See all’ . This gives you a compressed printed list  – no pics or text – which you can quickly scan to see if there’s anything that you want/need to look at..

And then you’re done! Otherwise Facebook can gobble up hours of precious time. We both know this, so no further discussion necessary.

And so ends my three part series on taming the electronic tentacles.

Next week I have a couple of juicy book reviews for you. No, not 50 Shades of Grey. I haven’t read it, don’t intend to, not because of the explicit content, but because it’s badly written.

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CHAPTER 2 :  MORE ADVENTURESWITH OUR INBOXES


My faithful readers have asked for more  tips to help them stem the inexorable tide of e-mails.

The following hints won’t stem the tide, but suggest what you  can do to the deposited flood.

*Strap on your heavy duty protective gear, select your biggest, sharpest scythe, and plunge to the bottom, the very bottom, the first item (i.e. the oldest) of your InBox. Start wielding your scythe.  If item #1 has been lurking at the bottom this long, does it really need any attention now? I thought not: weeessssh, snick! Off with its head! Continue in this mode, until you can begin to see daylight in the mid-section of your Box. Wipe off your scythe blade, and have a cup of coffee. Now back to the task.

 

  • Simply delete mail without even opening it. I have friends who love to share their political opinions, or hoary old jokes : I press that magic button marked DELETE.  Best button on the keyboard, wisely used.

 

  • Under no circumstances take part in those irritating On-line Scrabble e-mails : they are total time wasters. You know what to do: press the magic button!

 

  • The heart-rending appeals for lost kids, dying patients, starving animals: harden your heart, most are phishing scams: Magic Button – yes, again!

 

  • Petitions: I delete them instantly. I read an article, written by a reliable source, that conclusively proved the info goes nowhere and changes nothing.

 

 

  • I enjoy gorgeous photography, clever puns, or informative articles sent to me by friends scattered around the globe, but I only send a very short one or two line acknowledgement if the content is superlative or warrants a comment. Not every mail needs a response. I enjoy and delete. Occasionally I forward items, but I’m trying to forward only the crème de la crème this year.

 

  • Buy a cheap kitchen timer. I bought a boring white mechanical timer, and it was a well spent R27.00 . Set it for half an hour, and attack your InBox. When that buzzer sounds, get up and walk away – go and do something else, either virtuous (dishes?) or pleasurable ( go for a walk , read a book). Whatever you choose to do, it’s taken you away from the keyboard. Knowing that you only have half-an-hour or whatever time you opt for, sharpens your focus. You need to get cracking! No time for dawdling or fiddling.

 

  • Beware of traps labelled Wikipaedia, and the like. Clicking on links to websites leads you to the quick-sands of distraction …you may get lost for hours. That distant buzzing sound is your timer: hellooo? hello? Yoohoo! Climb out, and resume your task.

 

  • Open a HOLD or PEND Folder in your Folders column. I stick mail in there that is un-resolved, or likely to be on-going and may take weeks or even months to finalise. Diarise one hour, once a month, to go through your HOLD Folder, and ask the question: why am I keeping this?  Delete anything that has grown mouldy green whiskers … or action it smartly. Feels good, huh?

 

  • For that matter, open loads of Folders, according to your needs, and heave mail into them –including out of your SENT Box. The point is, by filing mail into your Folders, you get it out of the dreaded, catch-all InBox.  I prune my Sent Box daily, keeping only immediate, un-resolved items in there. This way, it’s a kind of built-in Diary system. Works for me.

 

And now, having absorbed all this wisdom, you have  earned happy free hours to nip back on line and play Mahjong, or Poker, or Scrabble, whatever blows your hair back.  I won’t tell anyone if you don’t!

 

 

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