By Ermal Hajrizi
Let’s be honest: your resolutions from 2012 didn’t pan out. Nor did they in 2011. Nor did they ever. This year, we’re going to change that, starting off with five tech resolutions that will make your life better, my life better, and everyone’s life better.
1. Record Video Horizontally…Not Vertically
We’ve all been in the situation: you hear about a new, viral video that’s popped up on YouTube, after which you frantically begin searching online for the video. You find the link, and eager to watch it, you click it. Then, disappointment ensues. The content isn’t the problem. It’s great: funny, scary, absolutely mind-bending, or even all of the above. The problem is, you can barely see it because the cameraman filmed it vertically. There’s a reason that computers, TV’s, and nearly every other display-based device is designed to watch video horizontally. It just looks better and gives you a more complete view of the scene. So why in the world would you record vertically when the video will end up on a horizontal screen with huge black bars on the side to fill in the blank space? Do us all a favor and stick to horizontal recording. In fact, camera and phone manufacturers should disable the ability to record vertically. That ought to teach ‘em.
2. Update Your Phones
A few weeks ago, I asked a friend to borrow their phone as I didn’t have mine with me. She had an iPhone 3GS: an old, but respectable device, especially for those on a budget. However, there’s a catch: it’s only a good phone if the operating system software is up-to-date. Her’s wasn’t. The worst part was that it wasn’t just a version or two behind. It was a whole three years behind in functionality. Her phone was running iOS 3, the OS that shipped with the 3GS. It lacked such basic functions we’ve come to expect, such as multitasking, a feature so vital to the way we use our phones today. The iPhone 3GS is capable of running Apple’s latest software, iOS 6, which offers things like Siri, turn-by-turn navigation, and hundreds of other features. The point is, people need to update their phones. All it takes is the push of a button, and you can have the latest-and-greatest that tech companies have to offer.
3. Back Up Your Data
Possibly the worst possible feeling in the tech realm is losing data. Whether it’s essays you’ve written over many years, photos you’ve taken of exotic places, or music you’ve listened to since you were a kid, losing something is never a pleasant experience. Computer hard drives are prone to failure. That’s a fact. They fail unexpectedly, with no warning, and even worse, no way to retrieve your data. That’s why it’s so important to back your data up to a service or external hard drive. It’s quite simple to set up an automatic back-up system that will save files either in cloud-based services such as Dropbox, or in an external hard drive. And with the low prices of hard drives these days, there’s no excuse not to get one.
4. Help Your Friends and Family
Not everyone is a tech expert. Technology, in its own unique way, is somewhat of a language: not everyone speaks it, and it’s difficult to learn. So, it’s important that those who understand it better than the average user spread the knowledge by helping others and teaching them new skills. Whether it’s how to back-up data or how to update a phone, useful tips are always beneficial to those who aren’t fluent in tech. So next time you get a request for tech service, lend a hand, and most importantly, teach them how to solve the problem.
5. Put the Phone Down
As a society, we’ve become overly-dependent on our phones. Everyone is constantly checking social media sites, emails, texts, videos, and every imaginable form of media and communication, all on a tiny computer that fits in your pocket. But phones are distracting. They get in the way of social reality. They get in the way of developing strong relationships with those in the real world. Phones hinder us from life, something that is, in actuality, a brief interlude that we humans are lucky enough to enjoy. So don’t waste it frivolously on your phone. Next time you go out with friends, try turning your phone off. You’ll have a far more memorable experience than a phone could ever provide.