Letter to the Oregonian on cellphones – mobile

Dear Oregonian,

I read the article recently about the teacher who finds her students texting and her reaction to that experience. I gave up my cellphone 2 years ago and have hardly looked back. I first did it because I didn’t like the disruptions in my life – phone calls, texts, you know the drill.  While others have been stepping up more and more towards smart phones, I continue my distance. It’s interesting because I’m in the high-tech industry, have been for the past 15 years as a software tester and now a teacher of social media and email marketing. You’d think I’d be swimming in mobile technology – but I’m anything but! And I Love It!  

As a businessperson I do think it’s important to be available to all possible inputs out there – phone, text, email, social media (OK, perhaps not FAX).  I also enjoy LPs, Cassettes, CDs – yep!  But when it comes to mobile, I feel my unplugged life makes me a calmer person.  It makes me a less-distracted one – I’m becoming a better and better driver because my attention is improving rather than being scattered.  And, I think it’s even an advantage in business as when I’m talking to someone, they have my full attention – I am not about to be interrupted during our talk.  I never take a call, or interrupt something for something buzzing or ringing in my pocket or on the restaurant/café table (please don’t!, it’s a tech turd, actually!).

Yes, I can’t always be reached by people who I love. Yes, I miss out sometimes on last minute invitations or impromptu gatherings.  Yes, I’d love an app to do this or that.  But no app is going to plant garlic cloves. No app is going to stir a pot of chili.  No app is going to replace a hug – in fact, my sense is that apps increase the distance between us – taking our time with community and friends and focusing our attention elsewhere.  

Without mobile technology my life feels richer than it ever has. If you’ve never done a tech-fast before – give it a try. There are many great articles out there about how one works and their benefit. Who knows, maybe you’ll join me someday (unless you’re already there) and give up your cell, altogether.  You can do it.  You might even like it!

With gratitude,

Albert Kaufman

PS – see other writing I have done on this topic: Why I originally gave up my cellphone, and The Cellphone game 🙂

This just in from the NYT on 8.26.12 – get rid of the tension

9.26.25 NYT Stop Googling, Let’s Talk.

The World Naked Bike Ride

I got to take part in the World Naked Bike Ride last night in Portland, Oregon. I am so thankful to live in a place that allows/encourages such an event. It was the closest I’ve come to having a feeling of being at Burning Man outside of being at Burning Man that I’ve ever felt. Freedom, silliness, purpose, making new friends, fun costumes, and the streets were blocked off for miles to allow the parade of 20K bikers to pass by. There were fans lining the streets, taking pictures and cheering us on. The weather was kind of tropical with low clouds keeping in the heat from a hot day. I love taking over the streets, there’s really nothing like it. Also, big props to my friend, Alex, who brought along a mobile music unit, the chaosolator! Made the ride even more fun! I encourage you to find out more about the various rides that are going on during the Pedalpalooza event. Thanks so much to Shift2Bikes for their organizational efforts and, see you next year!

Albert on TV – 2011

Albert Kaufman, Jim Lockhart and Richard Carpenter on today’s issues – Portland Cable Access TV – Fall, 2011

I took part in a show with Jim Lockhart and Richard Carpenter recently to discuss population growth and other environmental issues.  I got to be the star and so thought I’d put this out into cyberspace for my own record of my current thinking and hopefully to entertain and enlighten others.  Let me know what you think.

TV

http://youtu.be/bfA44l5R6Xw

Facebook through the fan page lens

I wrote a long email which I sent out to my email list this week.  I discussed what I think about facebook fan pages, and included a list of all of the pages that I administer.  The article is here – feedback welcome.

http://tinyurl.com/albertideationonfanpages

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