Bye bye VD, Hello #TheNewNext

The art of audio storytelling is growing and on February 1, “Visible Digital” will relaunch as The New Next (#TheNewNext) featuring in-depth podcast reviews, interviews with podcasters of color (or programs highlighting POCs) and occasional delves into digital technology and social media trends. — Photo by Larry George II on Unsplash

The ever-evolving realm of technology engagement always requires users to consider easier ways to utilize cell phones, apps, search engines and social networks. Here are some tips to a less stressful digital life experience.

When it comes to creating a secure and memorable password, consider using the number your parents or grandparents used. In the middle of the 20th century (or back in the day,) telephone users had a unique five-digit number preceded by letters that identified exchange you were connected to.

For example, on the “I Love Lucy” classic sitcom, Lucy and Ricky Ricardo would say their number was “Murray Hill 5-9975,” and a caller would dial MU5-9975.

If you’re a Baby Boomer or Gen Xer, you probably can easily recall the number you had to memorize in your youth — and it’s a great combination to use today when it comes to creating a memorable password that will thwart security breaches.

For additional resilience add the digits of your area code or capitalize one of the letters to look like 215Mu59975.

The bonus is the number has been imprinted in your memory since childhood and really does look like random numbers to an attempted scammer.

We often need our mobile phones, and want to go cord-free power for as long as possible. Battery Saver mode is a good feature to know about for those times you want to extend running on battery power. Different phones do this different ways and your phone’s battery life can easily be extended from hours to days.

Finally, one last tip: Turn it off. As discussed in an earlier “Visible Digital” column, if you experienced distress when you find yourself without their digital devices, then it may be time to do a digital detox. In “The World Unplugged Project,” researchers at the University of Maryland reported surprising facts from their study revealed that while “addiction to media may not be clinically diagnosed, the cravings sure seem real — as does the anxiety and the depression.” Only you can prevent digital dependence, and it may be by taking baby steps. The New York Times suggests making small changes, and “refrain from using your device while eating or spending time with friends, and add one thing a day that’s done without the phone.” Digital detoxing does not have to be absolute, but consider this: every moment spent in the virtual world takes you away from the real world where you physically reside and must socially navigate. It’s time to stop checking your smartphone — and start stopping to smell the roses and live life.

The art of audio storytelling is growing and on Feb. 1, “Visible Digital” will relaunch as The New Next (#TheNewNext) featuring in-depth podcast reviews, interviews with podcasters of color (or programs highlighting POCs) and occasional delves into digital technology and social media trends. Do continue to share your digital world in the comments by visiting @PhillyTrib or direct with me on Twitter, Instagram or Facebook @bobbibooker.

bbooker@phillytrib.com (215) 893-5749

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