Posts Tagged With: online

Experiment :: 30 days of my “Social absence”

It may sound crazy or silly, but yes it happened to me.

I was “connected” too much and it started suffocating me with overwhelming flow of incoming messages.

In the age of facebook, whatsapp, hipchat, snapchat, slack, linkedin and google+, its easy to grow your online circles , start liking groups of your interest, subscribe to the endless RSS feeds of choice and bury yourself with tons of data.  I never thought social networking can be so suffocating.  And you know what? I am not a “power user” of these networks. Just a normal guy with usual circles and casual interactions.. And if I experienced such a flood of data, I can image what happens to people with thousands of friends and hundreds of groups.. My phone was vibrating almost all the time 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

So I thought I should take a break.

I deleted all my social network accounts and went into online-oblivion.. for 30 days.

Untitled
And not surprisingly, not many noticed my absence.  As I said, I am not a power user. Few might have frowned at seeing me go, but you know people dropping out accidentally is so common so they just ignored.  One friend has gone to an extent to drag me into one group so badly that he added another ‘balu’ in his contacts ( I don’t blame him, no one remembers phone numbers any more).

Thats all. Nothing much. That PROVED one thing very clearly.

My absence doesn’t really matter much.

All that constant flow of incoming messages that gave me an immense sense of belonging, all the phone vibrations that demanded my attention and gave me a false feeling of importance, all that hype around an illusory possessiveness that cared so much to notify me of so many happenings… all that everything washed off… in 30 days.

Now, I came back and activated all my accounts silently. I now know the core circles where I actually belong. I will see how many people will actually read this and care to add me back to the groups because my number is now active.  Lets just wait and see :):p

And hey, what happened in these 30 days? what did I do productively in the absence of a constant stream of connectivity? Thats suspense for now .. and thats the concept of my next post 🙂

Thanks for reading. I encourage you to do the same experiment and realize your true connections and also use that time to realize and prove your true potential, because you won’t have as many distractions.

Happy experimenting.

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Categories: experiments, fun, life, me, online-life, philosophy, secret, society, suggestions, urban, world | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

sorry Google! 3 features that make Yahoo! Mail the best

I take extreme care to evaluate neutrally and am surprised that I didn’t write this till today.  Here are the reasons that make yahoo mail the best in the industry, sorry Google, sorry Microsoft.

i) disposable mail ids:

Do you know Yahoo! gives you 500 disposable mail ids, with all incoming mail in one Inbox? What does that mean to you? Aha! It means no spam. Let me explain.

Its NOT ABOUT spam filters any more. However good your mail system is, if your email id is compromised, which is unavoidable, YOU GET SPAM.. so you must be getting a lot of unwanted mails by now.

Do you know, once your friend’s email account is compromised, your own email id is compromised too? No spam filter mechanism can stop the wrath then.  That starts pumping in a lot of spam. I know of people who just abandoned their ids only because they couldn’t help themselves out of the spam onslaught.

How good it is to shield your original email id from the rest of this world?  And here is how Yahoo!® solves my problem, of course along with the best in the industry Spam filtering. 

To use the disposable mail ids, I have to choose a root word, say ‘Bob’.  I then create multiple mail ids using this root word..

  1. For important web site registrations, I use ‘bob-register@‘; and if are you are really paranoic, you can even do a bob-tumblr@, bob-gmail@, bob-dmv@ etc..
  2. For non-critical web site registrations, for example, all my wine club associations, I use ‘bob-wine@‘.. Just every other Internet need is a new mail id now.. ‘bob-chess@’, ‘bob-car@’, ‘bob-parenting@’…or even a ‘bob-matrimony@’  or ‘bob-dating@’ 😉 😛
  3. All the mail coming in to all these ids would land in your original Inbox, at a single place., so you don’t even see any difference. The better part, no one else in this world knows your original email Id. 
  4. Now imagine, my wine club’s account is compromised and the ‘bob-wine@’ id is leaked into the open wilderness… I start getting 10’s of spam mails every day..
  5. As soon, as I see tall legs or viag** tablets in my emails ;), I simply delete the ‘bob-wine@’ and create a ‘bob-wine-2@’ for my wine club..
  6. swoosh!! my Inbox is clean now.
  7. The number in the end actually tells me how many times that account is compromised..If I see the ‘bob-wine-2@‘ is also compromised, then I know I have to delete that account for ever and preferably get rid of that club too.

This may sound like a lot of techie stuff or tedious to do or maintain, but its just a breeze doing, takes less than a minute.. and what you get in return is simply invaluable.. a spam free inbox.

Please check this cool feature out in your ‘Settings->Security-> Disposable addresses‘.


Update: The ‘+’ mails feature by google is very similar and unlimited too. But the biggest downside is that your original gmail id is still leaked.


 

ii) All other mail in Yahoo! Mail

Forget the technical name of it, but what this means is that all my Gmail®, all my Outlook® mail, all my AOL® mail, .. gaah! all at one place.. The Yahoo! Mail® Inbox.. How cool is that? You won’t realize the convenience until you start using it. Go ahead! Try it!

You can import many other mail boxes from ‘Settings->Accounts->Add Mailbox

iii) the eco-system that is called Yahoo!

This may sound like another geek rant or a promo, but this is the most important of all. Yahoo!® is not just a mail provider.. Its an eco-system…And its a market leader in many other fields like News, Finance, Sports, Flickr (best-in-industry photo management), Movies, Mobile..yahoo-mail-logo

  • you can use the all new Yahoo! Messenger® straight from your Inbox ( I will write about this stunning tool later at length).. who doesn’t have memories there?
  • you get a myriad of other tools like an online Notepad, Calendar, Contacts management etc..
  • you can integrate your Twitter®, Facebook®, LinkedIn® accounts for a better social experience custom tailored to you by Yahoo!®
  • you get an honestly better ‘News Feed’ all in a separate tab in the Yahoo! Mail®

I can go on and on about the Yahoo!® experience, but I want to leave it all here and let you explore it.  You better be the judge here.

thanks for reading.
/balu

Categories: analysis, design, online-life, suggestions | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Resolutions of a facebook addict! (helps you too)

fb-pixelled(in the order of priority lower to higher)
I will not open facebook more than once a day;
I will spend only 10 mins on facebook everyday/anyday but not a jiffy more;
I will go out into open world and then post my own effing status to facebook than just liking / stalking others’ statuses. 
I will open nationalgeographic.com or nasa.gov when I wake up every morning but never the facebook.com.
I will empathetically try to understand the psychological problems of people who invite me every day for playing ‘candy crush’ or ‘farm ville’ but never any outdoor game. 
and finally the most important:

I will watch more videos from TED than the stupid  ‘unbelievable’ or  “everyone-must-watch-this” videos on facebook. 

hope this helps you too but sorry facebook, am a bit scornful,
/balu

Categories: entertainment, fun, online-life, psychology | Tags: , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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