Today I am annoyed.
Are you getting tired of apps reminding you to update them?
How about reminders? What about email notifications?
Sure, you can turn most of that stuff off, but really, are we that feeble minded nowadays, that we need all those reminders?
I admit that I can’t remember a damn thing at this point in my life. The other day I wrote a Post-it note to remind me to go into the freezer we have in our basement to get something to put in my lunch pail for the next day. I stuck it on my forehead while I was on my treadmill, then forgot it was there.
I find I am sending myself emails from work to remind me of things I need to do once I get home. I have apps on my phone that remind me to check things at home on certain dates, make lists, and generally push me to do whatever needs to be done. Sometimes I think if someone hacked my calendar app and put a reminder in there to go jump off a bridge, I might do it. These apps have taken over our lives.
I could probably live with all of that “reminding” but the last straw came the other day. I signed up for Dolly Drive which I thought was a Dropbox kind of application. I figure extra online storage for free won’t hurt. Instead Dolly Drive is all about backing up your Mac online.
Now there is another thing that annoys me, this push to back things up online. Maybe, if I lived in downtown Manhattan, or any place other than the New Hampshire woods, I would be able to get a decent, super-fast, DSL connection like you city dwellers. Then I would have the capability to download gobs of GBs in the flash of eye, but I can’t. Up here in the country we’re lucky we’re not still doing dial up and using a modem. Quick quiz, who remembers what the acronym “MODEM” means?
How slow is my connection? Well my son bought the game BioShock from the App Store the other day, a 6 GB download for his laptop. At first I thought it might take a couple of hours, so I used a hardwired Ethernet connection, plugging it into my hub, thinking this would be faster. It wasn’t. I think I lost time just looking for the damn cable.
It took over eight hours to download the game and my connection even disconnected a couple of times. The whole house was rendered a “dead zone” because no one else could connect and do anything else web-wise.
I guess it is possible the Internet to my whole town slowed to a crawl. I had to stop the download so I could update my website (richlefko.com). Thank God the download manager remembers where you stopped and just picks up where you left off otherwise it would have been a career.
But I digress….
So I signed up for Dolly Drive and after launching it I realized all it does is back ups. So I shut the thing down and moved on. Then the emails from the Dolly Drive people began. At first, I was okay with them, when their message simply said “we see you signed up, do you need any help?” How thoughtful. I deleted it and moved on.
Then a couple of days later another appeared. This one was from the founder (or someone high in the corporate structure) asking if I was having trouble and why had I not tried Dolly Drive yet, and did I need help. Well, no, I didn’t need any help, thank you, and delete. Then the next day I got two more messages pleading with me to contact them to resolve “my problem.” Well, I deleted those and as I’m sure you can guess, they just kept coming.
So finally, I clicked on the “get help to resolve your problem” link in one of the emails and I sent this email: “The only help I need is how do I stop these damn emails.” Lo and behold, I have not received a message since. Someone actually read my email. Kudos to the good folks at Dolly Drive.
Tonight on the drive home from work a message popped up in the dashboard LCD in my car reminding me I need an oil change, then a little notification went off on my iPhone reminding me about a meeting I have tomorrow. (Like I will remember anyway) Then there was the prescription refill I needed to pick up so I brought the empty bottle and left it on the passenger seat of my car to remind me. I drove right past the drug store. Thank goodness when I got home there was a message on my phone answering machine reminding me to pick up the lawn mower I had dropped off for servicing last week. Need to put that in my calendar, or the “clear” app, or maybe I will use Reminders, Busycal, or “Things”?
I’m sure we all need some help sometimes to remember things, but it seems we have reached overkill when it comes to reminders which now seem to be everywhere we turn. Short of planting a chip in my cerebral cortex, I’m not sure where the people who develop this stuff go from here.
I’d go into a deeper thought on that topic but my iPhone app “Appshopper” just reminded me to update a few apps, and when I looked at the screen I noticed the App Store icon has a little number “6” badge above the icon so that means updates are waiting. Oh, and my DealNews app is signaling seven bargains I won’t want to miss, and OS 10 on my Mac Pro is telling me I have five new emails to read, I wonder who they are from?
I wonder if I am supposed to be some place else right now?
BTW, “MODEM” meant “Modulation-demodulation”