By Taylor Martin | December 31, 2013 7:01 AM
It’s that time of year when we all reflect on how this year has been, how we’ve exceeded (or failed to meet) our goals and expectations, and how we can do better next year.
I’m not a huge fan of the resolution rush at the turn of every year. Although I understand the significance and symbolism which appeals to many, I don’t need to turn the page of a manmade calendar to force myself to do … better.
I’m a firm believer in recognizing problems and implementing a change at that exact moment.
That said, when it comes to technology, my life could always use a little more structure and discipline. My wallet aches when is see a gorgeous new phone or tablet on stage being announced. I want practically every new mobile gadget, and I know I won’t be able to resist them all – applications, games, accessories, cases, battery packs, chargers, etc.
So I want to kick off the new year with a few goals for technology and technology habits in 2014.
Better budgeting for applications, games, and digital content
This year alone, I imagine I’ve spent somewhere in the ballpark of $150 in applications and games for Android, iOS, and Windows Phone. If I were to factor in the movies, books, magazines, and music (not All Access), that number is probably much closer to $275.
When you consider that number is spread out over three different ecosystems, it doesn’t sound so bad. And a lot of those purchases (probably $100 or so) were for work – applications and games needed for videos, or applications needed to perform certain modifications on phones and tablets.
A lot of the purchases were practical and necessary, but I wouldn’t mind scaling future purchases back a bit and working on my ability to say “No” once in a while.
Further integrate technology into my life
A lot of the time, I feel overwhelmed by all the technology in my life. I think it’s something many of us go through, whether we’re willing to admit it or not. Being connected at all times, from anywhere and everywhere, can take its toll on us in a lot of different ways, especially face to face social interactions.
That being said, having an always-on connection to the world around us doesn’t have to be all bad. Technology, in itself, can be very helpful, and I’ve been trying to brainstorm various ways to further integrate technology into my life. For instance, using WeMo switches and IFTTT to automate and remotely control my apartment is something that I’ve been contemplating for months now. I’m also in the process of replacing the head unit in my FR-S with a Nexus 7. (Follow me on Twitter for updates on that one. So far, it’s been … quite a process.)
I would also like to start tinkering with Arduino boards or the WigWag for home automation.
FaceTime with family
Almost everyone in my family has now upgraded to smartphones. Of course, most of them are iOS users. And no matter how many times I ask them to download and use Hangouts, I always get pulled back to using FaceTime.
I live roughly an hour and a half from the rest of my family, and I can’t always see them on a regular basis. On top of that, my sister had a daughter back in August, who I can’t see nearly enough. The easy solution is to FaceTime them more often, but that requires convincing and teaching them to actually use it.
If I’m persistent enough, maybe I can convince some along the way to use Hangouts.
Try a fitness peripheral again
Last year, I bought the Nike+ FuelBand. I used it for about a month, took it off, and forgot about it for nine months. I recently dusted it off again and put it back on my wrist, used it for a week, and gave up again.
I liked the FuelBand, but didn’t always carry an iPhone which complicated things. And as much as I like the appearance of it, the rigid nature of the band also gave it handcuff-like feel.
Wearables, and especially fitness accessories, are increasing in popularity. I’ve been eyeing the Fitbit Force, and I may be picking one up today. If you ladies and gents have suggestions for apps and wearable fitness trackers, please feel free to drop them in the comments below.
What about you?
If I were to guess, I’d say the coming year will be an incredible year for tech. We’re interested to hear what your resolutions for tech in 2014 are. Do you need to tweet less often? Should you focus on responding to emails and text messages more quickly? Or do you want to learn how to root your Android phone?
Take to the comments below and share your New Year’s tech resolutions!