“There are no boundaries or borders in the digital age”- Karim Rashid
There are many reasons why apps are so popular. I’m talking mobile phone apps here. They help us work, they aim to make us more productive, they connect us with friends, family and strangers, and they help us enjoy the world from our beds, our cars, our workspaces, public transport, waiting lines, doctors offices, lecture halls and at that overcrowded, sweaty kids play centre you’re “enjoying” for the second time in three days.
What some people who suggest we need to unplug more often forget, is that there are apps out there who help us relax and switch off (so to speak). We often see reliance or dependence as an addiction, in relation to drugs, alcohol, video gaming, food, exercise, social media, or sex. But what if there are some apps that help us hold on?
For me, someone who lives with high functioning panic disorder and GAD, I use iPhone apps as a distraction technique. To help me meditate. To practice mindfulness. To listen to peaceful music. I can safely say there are some apps I rely heavily on, not just to ease my nerves. But to relax, have a laugh and to learn. Pinterest is an app I browse each night before I switch my phone off. I flick through the Humour section for a smile. I search for new journal layouts to inspire me. I save images to folders to investigate later. I search for new books to read. I search for interesting ways to start a research thesis. I search for research papers. I flick through art work and hand drawn graphics in a way that most people would used to have read the Age in paper form.
I use Instagram to communicate with people. I show my journal work and photos I’ve captured. I link to stories I’ve written and poems I love. I rely on Instagram for inspiration, for a smile and to share my world.
I rely on Spotify to help me float through work and study. I rely on music and I depend on discovering new sounds. I use this app more than once a day. I have a monthly subscription. Because music is a HUGE part of my life.
I rely on Facebook to communicate with friends and family. Doesn’t everyone these days?! I share my thoughts (which may or may not be well received each time), photos, links and quotes which inspire me to smile, to live better and to appreciate my world.
I rely on this blog to communicate. The piece I wrote for my beautiful Mum was an outpouring of love, which I couldn’t have shared on paper or in words any better. Writing is therapeutic and sharing for me, is therapeutic.
I depend on my bank’s app. It has no brick and mortar branches! How would I know how broke I am otherwise?!
I depend on email for work and for study. I depend on Moodle for my research. I sue Google Scholar up to 10 times per day. I share photos to Google Drive to free up space on my iPhone. I rely on News apps to see what is going on around Australia, to follow the sport and to connect with other news readers.
I am happily interweb-connected. I rely on apps and while I don’t sit with my eyes glued to my phone while I’m entertaining my kids, I need these apps in my life. And they don’t take away anything from my life, like any other addiction might.
What apps do you rely on?