News and Tribune

Z_CNHI News Service

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.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Z_CNHI News Service
  • A 'wearable robot' helps her walk again

    Science is about facts, numbers, laws and formulas. To be really good at it, you need to spend a lot of time in school. But science is also about something more: dreaming big and helping people.

    April 23, 2014

  • Cuba is running out of condoms

    The newest item on Cuba's list of dwindling commodities is condoms, which are now reportedly in short supply. In response, the Cuban government has approved the sale of expired condoms.

    April 23, 2014

  • The waffle taco's biggest enemy isn't McDonald's. It's consumer habits.

    Gesturing to Taco Bell, Thompson said McDonald's had "not seen an impact relative to the most recent competitor that entered the [breakfast] space," and that new competition would only make McDonald's pursue breakfast more aggressively.

    April 23, 2014

  • Screen Shot 2014-04-22 at 4.42.47 PM.png VIDEO: Leopard attacks crowd in India

    A leopard caused panic in the city of Chandrapur when it sprung from the roof of a house and charged at rescue workers.

    April 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • The top 12 government programs ever

    Which federal programs and policies succeed in being cost-effective and targeting those who need them most? These two tests are obvious: After all, why would we spend taxpayers' money on a program that isn't worth what it costs or helps those who do not need help?

    April 22, 2014

  • In cuffs... 'Warlock' in West Virginia accused of sexual assault

    Police in West Virginia say a man claiming to be a “warlock” used promises of magical spells to lure children into committing sexual acts with him.

    April 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • Lindley, Tom.jpg Basketball stars may linger on campus a while longer

    The NBA seems serious about raising its minimum age, which could signal the end of the one-and-done era in college basketball.

    April 22, 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

  • McCain 1 House Republicans are more active on Twitter than Democrats

    Your representative in the House is almost certainly on Twitter. Your senator definitely is. But how are they using the social network? Are Democrats more active than Republicans, or vice versa? Who has the most followers on the Hill?

    April 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • Do your genes make you procrastinate?

    Procrastinators, in my experience, like nothing better than explaining away their procrastination: General busyness, fear of failure, and simple laziness are just a handful of the excuses and theories often tossed around. Now researchers from the University of Colorado Boulder have added another option to the list: genetics.

    April 21, 2014

LOCAL MAGAZINES
Easter 2014 photos


Click on any photo to purchase it.

SPECIAL CONTENT
Twitter Updates
Follow us on twitter
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
AP Video
U.S. Paratroopers in Poland, Amid Ukraine Crisis US Reviews Clemency for Certain Inmates Raw: Violence Erupts in Rio Near Olympic Venue Raw: Deadly Bombing in Egypt Raw: What's Inside a Commercial Jet Wheel Well Raw: Obama Arrives in Japan for State Visit Raw: Anti-Obama Activists Fight Manila Police Motels Near Disney Fighting Homeless Problem Michigan Man Sees Thanks to 'bionic Eye' Obama to Oso: We'll Be Here As Long As It Takes Bon Jovi Helps Open Low-income Housing in Philly S.C. Man Apologizes for Naked Walk in Wal-Mart New Country Music Hall of Fame Inductees Named 'Piles' of Bodies in South Sudan Slaughter SCOTUS Hears Tv-over-Internet Case Chief Mate: Crew Told to Escape After Passengers
2013 Photos of the year


Take a look at our most memorable photos from 2013.