Welcome to the Wednesday #Checkin for October 2

Speaking of simple pleasures yesterday, I came to think of the one, yet unspoken condition for it: turn off your mobile phone. Or leave it in the other room, turned to "silent" (no buzz alarm, no notifications). I checked, nobody mentioned that yesterday. How is that? Does not fumbling about with a mobile phone, or cell phone, not factor in favourably with simple or pleasure? Is that even a thing?

I have seen that yearning for being offline-for-a-bit is turned into a behavioral market even, being labelled "digital wellbeing". Classes, workshops, outings have that theme. Curiously, "there is an app for that", of all things. Meaning that in order to get away from being online and available, you can spend more time, and money, with the device (initially), if you follow the market on this. Do you? I think there is quite an incommensurability showing. Why not just leave it turned off? Or elsewhere? No app needed then. Is it too difficult to get away from the stimulus-resonse machine in our hands? How do you time electronic device usage?

What is #CheckIn?

It’s a longstanding daily tradition started by Lawrence (LD) Williams on g+. Peeps throughout the world check in to mingle. It’s been likened to what folks do around a water cooler, on a front porch or at a cafe-bar, but online. If pressed for time just wave (like) as you run/fly/swim by. You’ll always be seen and appreciated.

#Checkin is a daily post-thread where regulars and visitors alike come to chat, as the sun travels through all time zones.

When consumer G+'s sun set, the original checkin (hosted by LD) seamlessly reappeared at MeWe. Pluspora’s checkin also began not long after. #CheckIn is a convenient neighbourhood place where regulars and visitors alike know they can go to chat with familiar friends or with friends they haven’t met yet, as the sun travels through all time zones.

Pluspora CheckIn was initially set up by Su Ann Lim with LD Williams’s help. #Newhere? Think of CheckIn as your virtual local corner establishment where you may know, and get to know, many of the regulars. I’m @Carsten Raddatz (劉愷恩), this week’s moderator at the #Checkin community. Starting August 2019, Pluspora #CheckIn is now hosted by a round robin team:

@Carsten Raddatz (劉愷恩) (Germany, GMT+2)
@Cass M (Canada, GMT-6)
@Nathan Weaver (USA, GMT-5)
@Su Ann Lim (Canada, GMT-7)

How to get included in the daily #CheckIn invitation? Just jump in and comment/like.
How to get uninvited? Let us know via comment or direct message.

To continue to get notifications regardless of rotation, please follow all the current team members.
If by any chance you do not see the day’s #CheckIn post in your notifications/stream, just search #CheckIn. It is a daily forum. There is a new post every day.

pxHere CC0 material of my own, adapted because of the cafe character this has - meet and greet, a beverage of your choice to help you start the day.
Heartfelt thanks to @Dave Sutton for creating the 3D Pluspora Checkin GIF, and for the use of it. ❤️
Whuffo diaspora
Whee! I've had a couple of Red Horses and I've been watching a really ridiculous Australian horror movie. It's called "Nekotronic" and the premise is that the demons escaped into the internet and are spreading through smartphone apps. I wouldn't recommend it.
I can easily find reasons to leave my mobile turned off, or at least turned away from me, thus avoiding distractions:
  • must concentrate on writing a ~~#checkin topic of the day~~ technical documentation
  • do actual work, which does not involve a mobile phone usually
  • irrelevant notifications pop up that I'm either too lazy to turn off, or can't because the app where they originate does not allow for that kind of control I'd want
  • Android 9 confombobucomplicalated notification schemes which worked just fine in version 8
  • a mobile real-time strategy game that I played innumerable hours over the last few years has changed its interface and now presents an UX desaster #ingress #ingressprime
  • enjoy the simple pleasure of just looking around in a park
Digital wellbeing, I can have that by simply not using the mobile. An app though that can set Andoid 9's b0rked notifications right and works on my device could be kind of useful.
I rarely get notifications on the phone. Basically, only when I'm oncall and get an alert.

I've made an effort to teach people around me that I prefer asynchronous communication (i.e. not a back and forth like a phone call or 1:1 chat messages), since it allows me to reply at my pace. I find that doing that improves communication, since it is a conscious change of mind. E.g. when I am stressed out about something unrelated, the chances of me grumbling at somebody innocent are greatly diminished.
I avoid the issue of mobile phone distractions by not owning one.

Many years ago (before smart phones were a thing), I lived in a shared house where the agreement for sharing the bills on the landline broke down, so we had the landline contract terminated and I got a mobile. A little while later, I moved from there to share a flat with three close friends so got access to a landline again.

I kept the mobile contract for a while, but realised the only time people called me on the mobile and I wasn't at home, I was usually either currently busy or somewhere I couldn't really talk (cinema, travelling, &c.); so, there were very few times contacting me on the mobile gave any benefit but many times the mobile rang when it wasn't convenient. So, as having a mobile created the unconscious assumption that was the primary way to contact me, I cancelled the contract.

After many years without one, I haven't really noticed the absence: my guesstimate is that I'm away from a phone when I need to make/receive a call an average of once a year.

Of course, with more and more online activities moving toward 2FA, I might be forced to get one soon.
I monitor my electronic time with my gut. I have more of an inbuilt aversion to it than most other people I know. It helps some that my phone is not smart, so I can't be On The Internet when I am away from home....
No mobile phone here.
no mobile here either. i grab a burner when/if i need one for work/contacts when i'm in melbs/sydney and ditch it when i'm done.
Whuffo diaspora
I've got a smartphone and I answer it when it rings. Other than that, it sits in its case and waits for me. Finished the movie, now it's time for bed.
I got a new Wenger backpack the other day. It has two pouches, one on each side, perfect for phones. I'm on call this week, so both pouches are full.

Very few people in my life call me anymore . They text or message me in some way. The only person I "call" is my old mother.

Guess I've been a techie for so long, I was building testers for the very first cell phones. We built an antenna puller for our robots, heh heh. I've always made sure I have a working answering service, so I can deal with business on my terms. When I answer the phone is up to me, except the on-call phone.

And when people start apologising for not getting back to me immediately - I stop them. "You got back to me in plenty of time - the moment you could - right?" "Well, yes." "Then don't apologize, heh."
Mmm... Well I use my phone when it's required (no pc closer) or when people call me due bad people who invent numbers to escape from the guys that call them to pay their debts.
Cass M diaspora
I love my phone; I joined G+ on invite from an Android group. I've had a cell phone since the 90s and it something I choose to spend my disposable income on. But I'm like @Dan Weese, people don't call often (which is fine); mostly I use it as a PDA.

I forget to take it on dog walks which is a shame because I like to take pictures. I've started a pottery class and will definitely be keeping it put away during that time.
Hi, all. Happy Wednesday.

Today is a fast day - Tzom Gedaliah, the Fast of Gedaliah. Gedaliah was the governor in Israel after the Romans took over. He was assassinated on this day, which the Romans took as a sign of rebellion - the precipitated the final destruction of the Temple in Jerusalem and the expulsion of the Jews from Israel.

This fast is in his memory. Until 45 minutes or so after sundown tonight, we will partake of neither food nor drink.

Hope everyone else out there doing well.
I have my cell phone set to only ring when contacts call. I don't have the phone in my face all the time.
How do you time electronic device usage?
when I am waiting for my Son after his wrestling practice, or waiting for a doctors appointment, or waiting at the DMV, when I am waiting for someone else. I am always early.

Like @Cass M said, it's my PDA. I would forget appointments, calls, etc.
Speaking of forgetting...

Good morning PlusPorans 🌞
Good morning. When I get too much I just stay off line....and I know when I am too much things in the house do not get done I get edgy and cranky. I am not phone dependent so I am saved from that constant jabbering of the electronic world I keep a note book with pen and a calendar ( paper) my cell phone is just a cellphone with whatever perks it does like alarm clock and takes pictures...but since it will not interface with the computer I use a camera for pix.
How do you time electronic device usage?

I don't. I find it a spurious complaint that doesn't get to the underlying issues. I have a healthy (to me) blending of my electronic devices with my life. I feel no obligation to answer my phone when I'm in the middle of something- that's the purpose of voice mail. My immediate family are the only people that I feel compelled to immediately answer.
I've already looked into physical keys, @Samuel Smith; unfortunately several key providers (my online Amazon publishing portal, for example) only support one-use codes sent to a phone line. Which is fine for things I only want to do at my home address, but is irksome if I want to do something while connected to a secure network somewhere else.
Well, that is irksome! It's harder to plan personal needs when vendors have such different requirements and abilities.
Mobile phones are definitely nice to have when you need them, as are home phones. However, both are often a pain in the ass.

My cell is usually OFF when I'm at home. I don't answer my home phone (yeah, still have one of those) unless the caller ID shows someone I definitely know and want to talk to.

I'm a semi-hermit Luddite. I'll admit it. ;)
Good afternoon, I usually keep my phone with me, but I can easily ignore it.
And when I go to bed, I leave it another room.

Got the keys for my new apartment today, now moving and shopping stuff can start...
i have a "dumb phone" so that only does calls and short sms. I have it pay-as-you-go, no data, and i really don't care about the mobile/app experience. I tried it, there were a couple of useful things (google maps when travelling), but that is about all.
Speaking of simple pleasures yesterday
Maybe I don't understand simple pleasures, but #checkin is one of my favorites things. Can't believe I didn't think of it yesterday

Good morning, checking in!

LOL Turning off one's smartphone for
digital well being (?)
Like other devices, how we use smartphones and what we need it for varies considerably. To me, the smartphone has become a lifeline.
from the time when extensive travel was part of work - it's the most convenient access to any information and connecting w/ others via multiple channels.

I was online during a few natural disasters and even a riot. It was jaw-dropping to witness, even when cell towers no longer existed, life/death communication via Twitter continued; how people throughout the world took turns to keep company with those stranded, how essential the 'crowd' was with efforts to contain the riot,...
To me, the sp is the most important piece of emergency equipment..

I am the emergency contact person for others. I would not have agreed to this if I cannot be reached 7/24..
I'll be a devil's advocate. IMO, with all the functions a smartphone provides to customize one's experience (e.g. different ring tones, notification options, do not disturb, etc), why is it necessary to switch it off to have a sense of well being? A smartphone enhances my well being considerably; switching it off doesn't make sense. Note: I've taken social media sabbaticals (there're like vacations) but my phone was not switched off.

Also, I heartily agree with @Tobias Klausmann - it's important to educate others to one's habits. e.g. Emergency or URGENT communique gets my attention. There are times I don't respond (while driving) but will when I am able to. There are other times I get hit with message tsunamis - I trust those making contact know - me not replying in the timeframe they expect doesn't in any way reflect how I feel about them. XD
@Su Ann Lim very good counterpoint
@Christoph S Congratulations, how exciting!

@Griff Ferrell Awww... so glad you think of #checkin that way. It is a simple pleasure for me too. 😊
Cass M diaspora
@Chuck Dee nails it. It's all about ignoring it when you're busy.
I am positively surprised how little mobile-induced (cell-induced) stress comes through in your comments. Somehow I would have expected more of it - it seems we're very much in control in how we use technology. This is very fortunate. (And just the mindset someone might need to ~~scrape every last penny from unsuspecting patients booking therapy~~ rake profit off the market.) And sort of explains why the well being market itself does not resonate here.

Professionally, people need to be able to contact me. While 24/7 is not a precondition (or part of a contract), the times I could successfully be reached in extraordinary circumstances were important. The other end knew, was "educated" in @Tobias Klausmann's sense, and I made a best effort to help then. Once that meant I was on holiday, had gotten up before sunrise to see the northernmost tip of an island without those pesky masses of tourists, and had to asssit in fixing something remotely. Connection was excellent, the task done in less than 5 minutes. It was at this serene place:

Let pragmatism rule sometimes. Yes, I got up early for that, but two hours later the the only road would be clogged like an old pipe.

Part of why I enjoy kayaking and camping, and would enjoy any trip to Yukon or other rather far away place, is I have technology around me most part of the day. and having time without it is "simple" as well. The better the company I have the better. Give me a couple of days and I might even forget to check for checkin comments.

@Chuck Dee That's a healthy stance. Outside of job issues I very much lean towards that too.

@Dan Weese - you need to have understanding others to make that work. Glad you do!
I get few enough calls and texts that I have no need to turn my phone off. Those that come through without a name don't get answered. Especially if they originate from my home area code; those are definitely not the caller's number. Voice mail works. Texts can always wait until convenient. My phone is tied to me. Not the other way around.

I DO turn off my phone, tablet and sometimes TV during an Amber alert. All three kept going off one night while they kept updating the chase of a kidnapper in far northern Arizona. I live in Tucson far away from that. Why? And how? I have a NM number; not Arizona.
I originally got a cell phone for emergencies. I like to take my camera and go out in the forest. Nice to have the phone if I lost my way or encountered a bear or cougar.
We still have a land line, but the ringer is always off. If people want to get hold of us, they can leave a message. I just had to replace my cell phone last week. The old one died. I picked up an entry level one that's pretty amazing for the price. The only thing that doesn't work as well is the camera, which is okay because I usually have a real camera with me.
I'd say that I'm probably addicted to the phone, but I don't get too many notifications, and very few calls. My plan gives me no data, and only 25 minutes a month, of which I probably use two or three.
At home, I tend to follow the pattern of leaving my phone in the headboard and ignoring our. Unless I’m calling someone or need to optimize for once handed use, I stopped using my phone at home some years back.

Rather I have my tablet with me all the time. If I get a phone call rather than make one, it’ll probably be from there. It’s my main computer at home.

Pretty naturally: I prefer to follow the pattern of looking at my notifications at leisure; yeah, someone sent me a message: not urgent, respond after done reading, typing whatever. That’s how forward motion happens.

That monthly owes to two problems I’ve experienced. That popping up and blinking crap is how you get me to stop doing, and start making me want to throw something. And the fact that if I stop what in doing and instantly respond to every email I receive: it becomes impossible to actually get work done. So instead I triage and queue for when I’m caught up to a good stopping point.

My dog dislikes this concept when demands for treats are involved....
I've had smarphones for like 19 years - dating back to the first one, a Palm Pilot with a cellular radio jammed onto it. After a while, it's just kinda there. Ya get good at ignoring it when you need to.

That said, no Twitter app. There's nothing going on there that can't wait. [Whenever a native d* app comes out...I dunno tho ;)
Phone comes in the bedroom, but goes on the charging stand to do music duty. No notifications unless it's someone in my contact list
Sure, I mess with it a lot when I'm bored, but same goes for the laptop, really.
My addiction - and it's a bad one - is news. I've been able to tone down, but not turn off notifications for those during the day
Oh, and I have two phone numbers, my personal one, and a Google Voice one that I give away, put on websites, etc. It goes direct to voicemail.
@Don Little for me, I have to have a public phone number, particularly an internet-facing one, and I get enough spam calls on my personal line as it is :P

#Checkin Admin Stuff

The round robin baton gets handed off tomorrow am. Advanced thanks @Carsten Raddatz (劉愷恩) for the new pixel cafe location we've enjoyed this past week where we had the opportunity to exchange thoughts on a number of provocative topics! Welcome to @Cass M (GMT-6 time zone) who has the moderator baton for the week ahead! 😃

The best way to not miss a beat when the baton changes hands is:
* be on the #checkin invitation list to be notified as soon as the post is launched every morning
* if you'd rather not be on the list/just in case there's a notif. glitch... follow all 4 moderators. The disadvantage- it maybe a surprise exactly when the #checkin post will appear in your stream.

Photo courtesy of Free Range Stock, www.freerangestock.com.
@Carsten Raddatz (劉愷恩) It’s Thursday here in Lisbon. I had to check to be sure. It only took us a few days into this trip to loose track of which day of the week it is. My cell phone use has been limited because we have no international data plan and a very expensive international calling plan. So, I’ve hopped on in the evening to upload the day’s pictures and tried to catch up with Fedifriends’ posts in the mornings.

I answered two urgent work emails during the last two weeks, and both times my boss said “thanks but please now go back to vacation and forget about this place”. A long overdue re-org happened while I was gone, and it did not include the proposal I put forward. So, there will be a lot to discuss when I get back.

I’ve been getting daily updates from our dog sitter, and everyone is fine. I can be a bit of a catastrophizer; so, I’m grateful that this trip has been nearly free of complication. I can’t wait to snuggle and play with our poodles.

Here are a few highlights from the last week:



@Griff Ferrell I’m sorry to here about the return of cancer. I hope they can come up with as swift and painless of a treatment as possible.
Cass M diaspora
Those pesky notifications wlll let you know the next #CheckIn thread is up. Hope you'll continue the conversation or discuss the new topic.