Shedding layers part three: Everyone’s gone app shit


I have not decided yet what item I will cast aside today. I know I will throw out a broken interval timer. I bought a new (identical) one online… but in the absence of the replacement, I found an app that works fine. Not sure why I didn’t think of that before. It must be generational and habitual.

I am not “too old” to think “app first” but am kind of on the cusp of that group of people that doesn’t look for apps or look to technology to solve inconveniences unless they have some connection to technology. That is, people who work in tech or who have a deep personal interest in it. I am a bit of both, but because I had to be dragged kicking and screaming into it back when the 1990s dawned, it still isn’t always my first inclination or response in some situations. Of the people my age or older (with whom I am acquainted, anyway) who have no professional or personal interest in tech, most are pretty lost; many would not understand if I were to tell them, “There’s an app for that.” They would more likely roll their eyes but nevertheless sheepishly-though-defiantly say something defensive like, “God… everyone’s gone app shit!”

Habit-wise, I am still in the habit of finding gadgets. While I very rapidly moved online to do anything and everything that could save time, help me avoid too many trips to stores and offices and help me locate the exact things I want from all over the world (you know, do all the stuff that the internet enables), some things don’t pop into my head immediately. Even though something basic like an interval timer should spring instantly to mind as something with multiple app options available, I clung to a little doodad thing because I already had it. But if I carry my doodad device AND my phone everywhere anyway, does it make sense to carry so much stuff around to perform ALL the tasks I need? No. I will keep the new timer around in case, heaven forbid, I go out and my phone runs out of juice. (I admit to believing heartily in redundancy, even where it’s not absolutely essential. I spent a couple of years working in an air traffic control center, where talk about redundancy was constant. And you’d want it to be, wouldn’t you?)

Shedding layers and moving forward also means adopting new habits, thinking in new ways. Improving even on things that already work well. Streamlining, simplifying. Whatever you want to call it.

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