The Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa

Lifestyles

September 2, 2013

Labor Day: Just the time to give the apps a nap

If there's one weekend that calls for a break, a timeout, an email-free day (or two — or, dare I suggest, three), this is it. Do you really want to be the person who can't stop laboring on Labor Day? Sorry, that's not a badge of honor. I'm not just talking about work-work, either. Managing your digital life — photographing and obsessing over status updates that convey your clever, care-free online persona — has become practically a full-time job.

I work at Fast Company, a magazine that focuses on hyper-achieving, hyper-connected, hyper-stressed innovators. Recently, we released a book about unplugging, about our need to gain control over the increasing demands — digital and otherwise — on our attention. It's called "Unplug," and we had the audacity to publish it as an e-book, which the Irony Police were quick to notice. But where else would we find our target audience?

Here's some of the advice we've gleaned, tips that apply to this weekend and beyond.

Get the word out

Last year, our columnist Baratunde Thurston went offline for 25 days. Before vanishing, he warned everyone in his social network. If you suddenly stop answering texts, video chat requests and work emails, people, you know, notice. Best to prepare them.

Thurston sent out what he called a "smoke signal." He changed his profile pictures in social media to an all-black rectangle with the dates for when he'd be offline. For everybody else, set up an automated vacation message saying you won't be returning emails — and mean it.

Turn off the noise

People aren't the only ones tugging at your sleeve these days. If you have a smartphone or tablet, you have apps. And if you have apps, they want to talk to you, too. To let you know when you have new Instagram followers, when a friend has commented on a Facebook post, and when there's important breaking news — an Atlanta Braves comeback win, in my case. This next step isn't fun but it's necessary: go into your device settings and disable alerts from your apps.

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Lifestyles
  • Choral group marks 10th anniversary CLINTON -- A Clinton choral group will celebrate its 10th anniversary this weekend. RiverChor will celebrate the anniversary at 2 p.m. Sunday at Zion Lutheran Church. The concert is free, but donations will be accepted. A reception will be held in th

    April 21, 2014

  • Camanche to host citywide garage sales CAMANCHE -- St. Mark's United Methodist Church will organize citywide garage sales scheduled for May 2 and 3. Those wishing to participate and have their garage sale listed in the advertising may obtain forms at Clinton National Bank, Citizens First

    April 24, 2014

  • Bald eagles Britton to present on lead effects MAQUOKETA -- A National Wildlife Refuge manager will present a program on lead's effects on bald eagles. Ed Britton, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Refuge manager, will deliver the presentation at 2 p.m. Sunday, May 4, at Hurstville Interpretive Center in Ma

    April 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • Spring flea market is April 27 MAQUOKETA -- The annual Spring Flea Market, Antique, and Collectible Show will be Sunday, April 27, at the Jackson County Fairgrounds in Maquoketa. The show has been in existence for 27 years and is one of Iowa's largest shows with more than 150 sell

    April 24, 2014

  • Human trafficking Stickers highlight human trafficking CLINTON -- Area establishments are receiving added decor this week thanks to an anti-trafficking committee. Sisters of St. Francis Center for Active Nonviolence and Peacemaking Anti-Trafficking committee members are placing stickers in local establis

    April 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • Cats outsmart the researchers

    I knew a lot had been written about dogs, and I assumed there must be at least a handful of studies on cats. But after weeks of scouring the scientific world for someone - anyone - who studied how cats think, all I was left with was this statement, laughed over the phone to me by one of the world's top animal cognition experts, a Hungarian scientist named Ádám Miklósi.

    April 22, 2014

  • Calling all munchkins CLINTON -- The Clinton Area Showboat Theatre is looking for munchkins. Local auditions will be held from 6 to 8 p.m. Monday, May 19, at the Showboat for munchkins in the upcoming "The Wizard of Oz" performance. Munchkins may be of any age as long as

    April 22, 2014

  • St. Paul grants Church awards grants

    CLINTON -- An area church recently awarded area organizations with grants. The Bickelhaupt Arboretum, the Felix Adler Children's Discovery Center, First Circle Friends, YWCA, Voices for the Land/Monarch Teacher Network and Haley Westerkamp were grant

    April 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • On Iowa program selects Clinton residents CLINTON -- Four Clinton residents recently were named On Iowa student leaders. Keaton Fuller, Jacinta Jargo, Kenya Lewis and Allyson Naeve were among 235 people selected to serve as welcomers to new first-year and transfer students at the University

    April 22, 2014

  • Screen shot 2014-04-18 at 4.44.15 PM.png Paint, doodle and sketch: 3 apps for art lovers

    In the absence of a palette of watercolors and a sketchpad, these three apps can fill in as your art supplies of choice.

    April 19, 2014 1 Photo

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