Happy New Year!
Various comic strips such as Charles Schultz’s Peanuts have been modified and shared online to acknowledge the new year. One character asks, “What will the new year bring?” Another replies, “365 opportunities.” What a positive and optimistic sentiment! 365 chances to explore, forge a new path, and/or meet and greet new and old friends.
My opportunity today has been to learn just how much snow had accumulated on my roof after several storms and to appreciate the hard work of the folks who brave sub zero temps to clean roofs and keep folks safe. The image to the left shows the view out my kitchen window while the roof was being cleaned. Happily, all that snow is now off the deck.
Our digital devices also provide a myriad of untapped opportunities to delve into throughout the year! I think it’s worth some reflective time to think about how we manage our digital lives as well as other ways we might use our smart phones, tablets, and computers to widen our horizons and make new connections. Here are just a few ideas to get the ball rolling:
Take advantage of all of the functions available with your smart phone camera. The newer devices allow you to control exposure and focus; plus the editing tools online and on the phones and tablets are super outlets for creativity. Check out the free Photoshop Express Editor: http://www.photoshop.com/tools I uploaded the image above and played around with some special effects. The results are below. It’s not going to end up in a museum, but the image might be fun to use creating note cards on a site like Snapfish. (You may have to lean back from your screen to fully appreciate the effect (-:)
Get involved locally, statewide, nationally, or even internationally with a blog. It doesn’t have to be a formal blog with a website. Some people use Facebook as an avenue of expression. Two examples come to mind:
- The Bangor, Maine Police Department Facebook page. This page, authored by Sgt. Tim Cotton, has over 100,000 followers. He shares stories with a message, provides public service information, and provides his followers with a chuckle a day. You need to find out about the Duck of Justice!
- My home town has a wonderful community Facebook page administered by volunteer, Dean Willey. It is probably more of a social media bulletin board than a blog, however Dean’s community spirit provides a real service for local residents.
You can create blog at sites like Word Press for free or pay a fee for an ads-free page. BoomerTECH Adventures’ friend Barbara Greenstone did just that to share her experiences on a grand trip to Europe exploring art and music this fall. To Italy and Beyond is her blog, and if you like to travel, take a minute to visit her site. Barbara reports that she was surprised at who actually read her blog–travel writers stopped by as well as a lot of folks she didn’t know. The fun thing about blogging is—you never know who might be in your audience.
Play games online. You might even play with folks you don’t know! Most folks heard/read about 81 year old Roz Guttman from Florida and 22 year old Spencer Sleyon from New York who play Words With Friends together. He traveled to Florida just to meet his online partner. What fun! What an experience for both!
Use Facetime, Skype, or Google Hangout to read stories in real time to young friends and relatives miles away. Many schools now use these online tools to connect distant parents and grandparents with classes during read-aloud time.
Plan a trip. There are so many apps that can help plan a trip and provide support while on the road. Click here to download a PDF of some of the great apps out there. Travel Apps
Learn how to cook a new cuisine. Do a search for the type of cooking you want to experiment with. Here are the results when I typed in Moroccan cooking. There is an overview of ingredients, a multitude of recipes, and even You Tube demo videos, Yum!
A great place to start with cooking lesson is with BoomerTECH Adventures guide Chris Toy. He also teaches cooking and has a You Tube channel with easy to follow cooking demonstrations. Watch the video below to learn how to make quick and easy potstickers! Appetizers for the Super Bowl!
Or maybe, you should take the opportunity to start your own You Tube channel where you share your expertise whether it be cooking, baking, or installing tile around a tub.
It’s January 8th—that means 357 more opportunities still await. Go for it!
P.S. If you look at the right hand side of this page (if you are on a computer), you will find a wonderful, FREE opportunity to learn more about your iPhone. If you are using a phone or tablet, scroll down below this blog to find the FREE opportunity. Check it out.