If you’re “app-y” and you know it, tell me why

“What apps do you utilize most on your phone?”

When I decided to answer this Mama’s Losin’ It prompt, I cringed a little bit. I don’t love staring my social media usage in the face(book). I was intrigued enough to pursue an answer, though.

And since the Five Minute Friday prompt is “smile,” I’ll share my top five apps (by usage) and what about them makes me smile (if anything).

Thank you to TNW/The NextWeb for How to find your most-used apps on your iPhone. The article gave two methods for figuring out how many apps you use. I apparently didn’t have “screen time” turned on, so I went with the “battery usage” option.

Here are the results:

If you're "app-y" and you know it, tell me why

Let’s ditch the home/lock screen and address everything 5% or over:

WFSU

I use the WFSU app for news — first thing in the morning, between editing sessions at work (I don’t like listening to words when I’m editing), and most of the evening if I’m at the computer working. (I used to play CNN for those times, but I had that through DirecTV, which we don’t have anymore, and haven’t figured out how to sign into it again. I have to admit I’m getting a wider variety of topics by listening to public radio than CNN.)

If you're "app-y" and you know it, tell me why

Does it make me smile? Yes (The news itself isn’t always optimistic, but some of the writing and reporting is incredible and many of the non-news shows are fabulous.)

iHeartRadio

The main thing this post is going to do is to back up the fact that I’m a creature of habit. I mainly use iHeartRadio to listen to WQXR while I am editing (before noon). I listen to it for the classical music. I also love hearing the “Know-it-All New Yorker” segment on Mondays, the weather in New York, and all things New York.

I enjoy listening to Stuff You Should Know and sometimes play Coffee Shop Radio at night as I’m reading/going to sleep.

If you're "app-y" and you know it, tell me why

Does it make me smile? Yes Anything about New York makes me smile. The SYSK guys are funny and smart.

Facebook

I use Facebook for the same reasons most people use it, I suppose. Besides the personal reasons, I do use it for some really cool projects I’m involved in, such as the #NYTReadalong and, most recently, Little Steven’s Road Show for TeachRock. (As a side note, the work Steven Van Zandt is doing to help teachers engage students through history lessons about popular music and culture — provided free to the teachers — is incredible. Check it out and donate if you can.

If you're "app-y" and you know it, tell me why

Does it make me smile? Connecting with people I wouldn’t be able to interact with otherwise makes me smile. Being involved in cool causes such as TeachRock makes me smile. Otherwise, Facebook has probably sucked up time I should have been spending in nature or with loved ones face-to-face.

Spotify

Spotify completes the trifecta of “things I listen to on my phone.” (My daughter got me an Alexa for Christmas a couple of years ago. My husband advocated for this so I could “stop tapping around on my phone.” It is SUCH a sign of how I am that I would rather silently tap on my phone than verbally tell a device what I want, but I digress…)

After listening to WQXR on iHeartRadio in the morning, I switch to Spotify after noon. I listen to either jazz, classical, film scores, ambient music or something else instrumental. I also have my own playlist of editing tunes on Spotify. In addition, as another side note, my friends Chryssy and Heather have a podcast that’s on Spotify. You can listen to the episode where I was the guest here.

If you're "app-y" and you know it, tell me why

Does it make me smile? It does in the sense that it helps me get through the day. I’ve also been listening to the Hamilton soundtrack on repeat while walking for exercise recently, and that has definitely made me grin.

Twitter

In September, I will have been on Twitter for TWELVE YEARS. Holy cow. Twitter has changed its interface so it’s hard to see how many tweets a person has sent over their Twitter lifetime. I do know I have sent well over 100,000 tweets.

For reasons I outline in the blog post I linked to above, I have met the BEST people through Twitter. I have developed relationships that led to jobs and, in an indirect way, the job I have now. Some of my Twitter work is professional rather than personal.

If you're "app-y" and you know it, tell me why

Does it make me smile? Usually. Like all social media, Twitter has its upsides and downsides. On balance, though, it gives me more smiles than grimaces. (I could also use more followers since I’m at a following limit, so feel free to check my profile out. I’m also very proud of my work account, SBLeaders, and would welcome you to follow it too.)

Instagram

I’m on Instagram as much as I’m on Twitter, so it’s a tie. When I first started on Instagram, I was annoyed that I would see the same exact post on someone’s Instagram, Facebook and Twitter. That’s still the case, but it has gotten a little less aggravating. I like having to see things through a visual perspective. I dislike the crazy follows from clearly bogus accounts.

If you're "app-y" and you know it, tell me why

Does it make me smile? Mostly. Instagram has enabled me to see my new niece who was born in March — I can’t visit her yet due to COVID. That alone is reason enough. But in general it does entertain me more than it frustrates me.

What about you?

What apps do you use the most? Do they make you smile or frown?

If you're "app-y" and you know it, tell me why

I’m also linking up with Five Minute Friday, for the prompt “smile.”

If you're "app-y" and you know it, tell me why

Facebook and Politics: Is There Anything to Like?

Social Media Politics

This week, Kat of Mama’s Losin’ It encouraged us to write to this prompt: 10 things you have learned about politics from Facebook.

ONE: Zero Minds have Ever Been Changed Because of a Facebook Share

Social Media Politics

There have been many opinions and information pieces shared on Facebook which did change my mind or at least inform me. I’ve learned about the intensely stressful emotional, financial, and physical price of invisible illnesses. I’ve learned about laudable causes to support, inspirational athletes to encourage, great recipes. I’ve read nothing that, by itself, reversed how I felt about an issue or candidate (especially a Presidential candidate).

TWO: Private Messaging Has the Potential to Change My Mind And Is Appreciated

Our primary is August 30 (I voted early (hooray!)). A few days ago, a good friend sent me a private message in which she shared her support of a candidate for a local race and why she felt that way. I am sure it was cut and pasted; it wasn’t composed exclusively for me. However, since she took the time to choose me rather than throwing the message out to the universe and hoping it would stick, I did take notice and thank her, sincerely.

THREE: It Matters When Candidates Interact Directly

I know this is a bit of a hypothetical. I don’t expect national or statewide candidates to interact directly. Again, staying with the “wouldn’t it be nice,” when I think about how much I love it when authors interact with me directly via social media, it strikes me how much it would matter if a candidate responded directly to me on social media.

FOUR: You Learn A Lot About Each Other

Have you ever seen a friend post their support for a candidate on social media and been shocked because their post seemed so incongruous with what you know about them? Me too. My choice in that situation is typically to file that piece of knowledge away rather than fire a volley across the tennis court of social media discourse (See Number One).

FIVE: Facebook Live Gives Us Access We Wouldn’t Otherwise Have

I have found it useful that the Tallahassee Democrat has provided access to their candidate forums via Facebook Live. Doing so makes it more possible for potential voters who can’t attend a rally or forum in person to hear where the candidates stand on various issues.

Six: Your “Friend” Count Is Likely to Fluctuate In Correlation to Your Politics

I don’t post much political material on Facebook. The main candidate I post frequently about is someone I can’t even vote for (DeeDee Rasmussen, candidate for School Board District 4). Otherwise, Rule Number 1 frequently compels me not to even waste the keystrokes. This may be keeping my friend count on an even keel, but I know Facebook friendships have been lost and gained this election season.

SEVEN: Every Vote Matters

I suppose this isn’t exactly a lesson learned from Facebook, but it is one that is reinforced. I may disagree with you, I may scroll past your diatribe, I may “like” your post because I agree. I may privately shake my head and wonder how you can believe that individual will make America great again or I may privately rejoice that you, like me, are #WithHer. What I will NOT do is be sad that you plan to vote. It’s so fundamental. In the most divisive of times I will still give you a ride to the poll or do what it takes to get you there. People in some countries have given their lives for the same privilege.

Eight: There ARE Some Trustworthy Experts Out There, And Facebook Gives You Access to Them

Case in point: Steve Schale. Although I usually pick him up on Facebook, you can also find him on Twitter here.

Second example: Nicholas Kristof.  One reader’s sentiment echoed mine: Thank God for your passionate journalism. Sometimes I don’t agree with you but I always respect you. Never stop doing what you do. It SO matters.

If I could think of others, I would share them. But I can’t. That’s how rare it is to find a trustworthy political expert on Facebook.

Nine: Facebook is Woefully Inadequate as a Source of Political Information

Earlier this month, I had an opportunity to be a part of a candidates’ forum at WFSU sponsored by the League of Women Voters. I am happy I got to hear so many candidates, even if they each only had two minutes. I saw such a broad array of this county’s candidates. Even the ones I could not vote for or disagreed with I gained a new respect for. Even if I had watched something like that on Facebook Live, nothing would have equaled the electricity in the room or the very American sensation of knowing that everyone who had qualified to run and accepted the invitation was getting an opportunity to put themselves out there.

Ten: Personal Action on Issues Matters

A few weeks ago, I learned from a Facebook (and real life) friend of a September opportunity that she was not going to be able to pursue, that might interest me. I quickly researched the opportunity, applied, and was accepted to be part of the Moms Rising contingent at We Won’t Wait 2016, a gathering where 1,000 community leaders and organizers from around the country will elevate the voices of women of color and low-income women and call for a comprehensive women’s economic agenda that will advance the lives of working women and families across the country.

I’m so excited to hear these women’s stories and be a part of making our nation better and more equitable for working women and families.

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Given Rule #1 (above), you can bet I’ll be sharing about what I learn other places in addition to Facebook!

How about you? Has your mind ever been changed about something political by a Facebook post?

Social Media Politics

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