State of Social and Internet 2017

A while back, my friend Jeremiah Owyang wrote his perception of the state of social to which I contributed. Decided I’ll add onto my blog as well.

Twitter: dumpster fire but central to US current events, news
Facebook: where The Olds who ‘don’t get’ other social networks congregate to get attention, Asia’s LinkedIn, and others have an account for the sole purpose of Messenger (messenger.com via web)
Messenger: communication utility (Skype / Hangouts replacement; the Westerner’s WeChat and Weibo — encrypted messaging and P2P payments? Yes please!)
LinkedIn: depot of shameless self promoters and what NOT to do cues for teens and millennials professionally networking. I.E., Stay away from descriptors such as, but not limited, to: ‘futurist’, ‘keynote speaker’, ‘innovator’, ‘change agent’, etc., etc.,
Snapchat: dancing Hot Dog and awesome filters to cross post onto IG
IG: branding tool for the non-olds (teens). Lifestyle diary for Millennials (food, beauty, fashion, etc.)
Google+: Huh? What’s that???
Telegram: status symbol to show you’re ‘in the know’ about cryptocurrencies.
Slack: quickly becoming the new email
WhatsApp: where European Android users are
LINE: only relevant to Thais and old Japanese people
Ding Talk: where Chinese who don’t trust Weibo or WeChat conduct business

Social networks aside, my phone is the place I do the most internetting and boy has my homescreen changed a lot. Take a look:

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The three apps on the bottom are apps most used: Twitter, brower, mail.
1. Apple’s mail app has been replaced by Outlook (yes, Microsoft Outlook) because Gmail loads the quickest plus the experience is much better. I can’t believe I’m saying this either but hey — it is what it is.
2. Safari has been replaced by Brave — which I wrote extensively about here.

Despite having 256gigs on my phone, I only have one page of apps. Mainly because I realized long ago I only use a handful on the daily. I also turn off the little red circles because they induce anxiety and helped me wean off my addiction. (Read about that journey here.)

Funny how things change!

Related: Snap Chat should be worried — check out this neat graph I found. 300M daily active users for Instagram stories! Amazing.

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How to Wean Off Phone Addiction

Several people immediately asked how I was able to pry myself away from my phone. Actually the conversations were more or less like this: how in the fuck does someone like you stay unplugged for so long?

It’s not as hard as I thought it would be.

For operation Internet detox, I started by reorganizing my homescreen too look like this:

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Social apps have always been strategically placed where they are the easiest to access. I swapped social apps with apps related to the activities I committed to do more: read and write. With help of muscle memory it’s working. I’ve been in the habit of constantly checking Facebook or Instagram and my fingers would touch the icons on the phone without thinking. Now, when my fingers automatically touch the screen where Facebook or Instagram were, Kindle and iBooks launch. In lieu of WhatsApp or LINE, Simplenote and Werdsmith open, prompting me to write.

I still have Facebook, Instagram and a few misc social apps. They’re just tucked into a folder where it takes effort to access. I turned off notifications* for all social sites and scheduled notifications for most messaging apps.

I also told myself to only check Twitter for news — being unplugged shouldn’t allow ignorance. Nuzzel is my favorite news app. Of all the news apps I’ve used, it’s the most solid with delivering articles most interesting to me. I barely need to launch Twitter anymore.

Since I didn’t trust myself, I took it a step further and disabled Wi-Fi in my home. So now my phone can only browse on mobile and if I go over my allotted 4gigs, I pay data overage fees. When money is involved it’s pretty easy to be disciplined.

It’s been less than a month but I barely go on Facebook anymore (just Messenger). Look at Twitter once or twice a day for news. And Instagram only in the morning — if that.

And that is how to wean off phone addiction. If I can do it, anyone can. Anyone.

*Backstory re: notifications: in 2011 I got fed up with notifications. It felt like my phone was constantly pestering me: someone commented on your post! You got a new mention! Email, email, email, respond, respond, respond. Text, text, text.

One day I got so irritated by my needy phone I turned off badges (the little red circle). My phone went from looking like this (left), to like this (right)

(I’ve also always had a one screen only rule: only keep apps I use.)

Turning off notifications made my life better. I was now in charge of when and what to respond to instead of letting my phone control my life. So I am used to having minimally invasive notifications.

Mission Internet Detox

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Face in phone as always.

 

I have a problem. I am addicted to the Internet.

For over a decade almost every free second has been spent online. When social networks gained momentum, not only was I spending all my free time online, I started making time to go online. Combine that with a constant need to learn new things, it was over: I now had to force myself to go offline. I’ve even resorted to pulling the plug so my laptop dies. Embarrassing, I know.

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Holy Epic FAIL.

Just remembered I never finished my tech predictions for 2010. #fail Maaaaan and my predictions are usually really good or straight on point. But I do know one prediction that was debunked way earlier than I thought: WinMo. Boy was I truly blown away. Microsoft’s WinMo team deserves major props for executing a social centric data driven OS overhaul. Too bad they didn’t make launch at the same time as iPhone (2G at the least.) I hope they are not too late to play catch-up. Also extremely curious as to how the browsing experience is. I would not want to be locked into any of their (sh*tty) products: Office, IE, and Silverlight, specifically.

Latter is the reason I am going Android. I really want to wait for the third iteration of Android but I am sick of my iPhone and most of all, sick of AT&T’s terrible, horrible, no good, very bad service.

NexusOne baby, I’m looking at you!
 
 
…why I woke up at 1:20am and felt compelled to punch this out is beyond me.

California Love

I’ve been back to California for less than a month. It’s quickly coming back why I dislike this state so much. Perhaps it’s the areas I spend my time — SF and LA, plus the ‘burbs, respectively — but it really bothers me how people, specifically Asians, tend to travel in packs. It’s like a herd of Asians and it’s scary. And I’m Asian!! Of course it’s not limited to California, but the Asian population is so large here, it is more noticeable than other areas.
 
 
And when everyone is the same race, same height, same style they look the same. Kinda like Neon Tetras. :(

How I Got Two iPhone Apps Refunded.

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Holy Moly, Apple does return and refund iPhone apps!!

I am THE biggest stickler for value:money (ratio), and firmly believe in “You get what you pay for.” Upon recommendation, I forked over cash for Beejive –an IM application, when iPhone OS 3.0 was released; mainly for the push function. (Push is notification of new activity, even when the application is closed).

Long story short, Beejive is still extremely buggy and utterly useless. i.e. super crashy, couldn’t log on with mutiple accounts, server errors galore…I just had all sorts of issues with it.

I felt ripped off.

$10 bucks for an iPhone app is HELLA money in my book. For 10bucks, I can get four iced espressos at Starbucks, eight bags of Swedish Fish, 9 soft serves from McDonald’s, or nine 99cent iPhone apps, etc., etc., you get the picture right? So I spent a few days complaining on Twitter about how much Beejive sucks.

On Saturday, I couldn’t take Beejive’s suckiness anymore so I Tweeted: “Dear Beejive, I would like a refund.”

I assumed iPhone application returns and or refunds were near impossible…iTunes and Apple’s site are clustermesses and for the life of me, I could not figure out how to request a refund. Seriously, try “Search” on both, it works but seriously needs help. People were sharing their personal nightmare experiences with Apple refunds, and Sean even got locked out of his iTunes account.

It looked like a refund wasn’t happening…until FriendFeeders Drew and Kisha linked me to two successful refund stories. I followed the directions and requested refunds for (1) Beejive and (2) Chocolatier –a game I purchased by “accident”. ;) hehehe.

These are the steps I followed to request a refund:

  1. Open iTunes
  2. Log on to your account
  3. Go to purchase history
  4. Report a problem
  5. Fill out form with reason for refund (nicely)
  6. Wait

Apple resolved my issues with a quick turn around time, hassle free, and was really really nice about it, too. And I am not going to lie, it shocked the crap out of me! …It may have helped I was clear and concise: “Beejive is not working out for me because x and x. Therefore, I would like x.” Manners and politeness can be advantageous, too. :)

At any rate, thank you, once again, to the wonderful FriendFeed and Twitter communities for helping me out and offering advice, as well as sharing your own personal experiences. Though it is hard to respond to every single @reply and comment, I read every single one of them and appreciate the insight you guys provide. :)

Reason no. 98273948379823 Social Networks RULE.

*if you are interested, there is discussion on apps and personal experiences with Beejive here. Beejive sucked for me, but there are many who experience no issues.
**Apple’s iTunes help web form’s direct link is here.

Self Portrait Whores, this iPhone App is for You

I am way too cheap to buy apps and don’t do product/app reviews, since they are so time consuming (taking screen shots, explaining, etc) but this I have to share. I found this neat iPhone app by GAM products and it’s nothing like I’ve ever seen.

It’s a filter that applies light to iPhone photos.
Confused? Well, see for yourself:
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Ta-daa
iTunes link: Light . It’s only two bucks.
Images from digitalfilmtools

BTW whoever says the iPhone’s camera sucks is WRONG. Proof is here.

15 FAQs About 3G iPhone Unlocking I’m too much of an A-hole to Individually Respond to

unlock_iphone_anysim-1So the 3G iPhone unlocking software release, due out on New Year’s Eve is being talked about on the Internet. The Dev-Team released a demo video of said software, ‘yellowsn0w’, working its magic by effortlessly switching the 3G iPhone from AT&T’s network to T-mobile’s, and actually made a call.

…sounds bad ass but um HUH? – seemed like the general consensus cuz I got A LOT of people asking me to explain. Don’t lie, your IMs, texts, and e-mails prove it.

Though fret not, even some geek friends have asked me privately via Twitter DMs, e-mail, and Facebook messages what this crap is all about. So you’re not totally technologically idiotic.

Well – since I am an asshole, have no patience, and sure as heck not going to respond to  every email, IM, DM, etc., etc., I consolidated the 15 most frequently asked questions here. Kinda like my Christmas gift to you guys? And if you don’t have an iPhone – well you’re assed the EF out. This is the only thing I’m giving this season. ;)

Any which way, here we go! Continue reading

iPhone’s Biggest Problem is Not the Firmware or Hardware

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It is the stupid, piece of crap, totally evil network.

I have lived and visited countless cities across the US of A.
I have been on Sprint, T-mobile, Verizon, and AT&T.
I used all four networks across those countless cities.
AT&T is still the worst. network. EVER.

Since my 2007 comparison, I continue experiencing:

  • Echo
  • Dropped calls
  • FAILed connections
  • Bizarre background buzz
  • SMS errors
  • Voicemail errors
  • …shall I continue?

AT&T’s stagnancy and their failure to improve is apalling.
The only thing that went up is the damn pricing.
I truly truly dislike AT&T.

So much so, I wish somehow, some way, AT&T’s towers will be blown to bits. Completely dissipated, so they can start from ground up and rebuild better towers. You know, just like the other evil Empire’s super weapon was destroyed and the Death Star II was constructed? It was a more superior battle station, though it ended up being destructed. Actually, that sounds like a good solution since I refuse to Jailbreak my phone and hop on T-mobile’s network.

Anyone down to start a Rebel Alliance?

(image borrowed from Giz, found Googling “AT&T” and “evil”, made by Jesus Diaz. Go figure. Oh – the chicken scratch is mine)
BTW there’s a great discussion over at FF regarding real user experiences. Lots of people from various parts of the country weighing in. Come join! http://bit.ly/MB4G

Is Steve Jobs an Evil Dictator or Our Savior?

There was an article on Forbes.com about a Finnish cyber securities firm discovering malware for the iPhone named”Mobile Spy”. For $99 a year, you can monitor calls, mobile web activities, and SMS this software logs, through your Mobile Spy account.

But fret not, Mobile Spy is not a security risk since it needs to be physically installed in the phone you want to monitor. So unless someone has access to your handset or you have a psycho stalker, an ex that turned psycho stalker, or you choose to have relationships with psycho stalkers (no judgements, to each their own!) that can access your phone, you’re safe. Now Spyware/malware, or what have you, is not breaking technology and has been around since I was an Internet n00b.

But this got me thinking. Continue reading

To the Undecideds: It is True What they Say. “iPhone or NO phone”

I used to be an early adopter, especially with all things mobile. I had to have everything first. From the Treo family (300, 600, 650), Hitachi’s monster PocketPC, Samsung’s compact Palm, MotoQ, I was addicted to all multi-tasking (mainly CDMA) phones and wasted invested a lot. I blame my Japanese genes, since in Japan, we go through electronics like new parents go through diapers. (That analogy was for you, LG)

Then, I grew-up. I was the cautious consumer for a few years, waiting for feedback before actually purchasing. I controlled urges. The only “new” technology I jumped on was MMS (multi media messaging) and stuck with the same handset for three years. A complete geek faux-paux. Finally, I was no longer an early adopter.

Until 2007.

If you remember, last year was a mobile junkie’s dream and worst nightmare. The industry stepped up their phone games launching products and services targeted beyond business users. And it worked. 2007 changed the American mobile industry. Continue reading

Thanks to Strands for the iPhone, I’m Famous!!

WordPress isn’t letting me embed videos, so please click on image that will: 1) Give you a review and description of Strands for the iPhone via the inquisitr (Duncan and his blog RULE btw) and 2) Let you see the video where I have my .928374938792374 nano seconds of fame.

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WOO-HOO! I’m famous!!

Oh ya, congratulations Drew and Strands! –clicking on Strands will take you directly to my profile since I feel like being vein like that. :) Oh and for LG (Louis Gray)’s take – with screen caps, visit his site here.

Pay to Be Ignored By Apple -YAY!

“The iPhone SDK’s NDA may have been relaxed several weeks ago, but Apple has just launched a forum for iPhone developers as part of its Developer Connection program.

Marked as being in “beta”, the forums are for members only – specifically, those in the iPhone Developer Standard Program, Enterprise Program, or University Program. You can log in using your Apple ID and password associated with your iPhone developer account.”

So not only do consumers get ignored by Apple, now devs can pay to get ignored by Apple and kvetch amongst themselves on the β forum. Hooray! How productive!

-rolls eyes-

via Apple Opens iPhone Developer Forums

Speed Test: iPhone 3G vs. T-mobile G1 (YouTube)

The results don’t surprise me. At all.

I’m not quite sure what people expect performance wise of American 3G networks, but from experience, my expectations have been and still low. 3G works well in large metro cities, since a lot of cell towers are situated closer, so losing signal is less likely. If I lived in a rural area, there is no way I would invest in 3g — especially on AT and T.

I did a 2g vs 3g write up back in June. 98% of the post is still relevant (Since Android wasn’t out yet and Firefox’s new mobile browser just launched, so they’re not included) If you’re interested, I pasted the blog after the jump. If you have any questions, please feel free to ask in the comments. :)

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Handcrafted iPhone Worth More Than a Real One -WTF

I seriously thought I’ve seen it all, until this. A needle craft iPhone worth more than an actual iPhone! Now please, don’t get me wrong. I respect the hard work that goes into crafting but really? Two hundred fifty-five dollars? TWO HUNDRED and FIFTY FIVE! Wow.

I can’t be the only one that thinks this is absurd – or am I?
Would YOU pay that much for this?

At any rate, there is two more days left. This item is definitely going into my watch list. See more pictures after cut.

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