Ten Resolutions For 2012 (And Nary A Diet Among Them)

January 4, 2012

For New Year’s this year, I made the usual kinds of resolutions that everybody makes. Eat healthier. Find more time for myself. Get more exercise. Buy fewer shoes. I don’t know whether I’ll follow through on them, but that’s not really the point, is it? New Year’s resolutions are aspirational. They’re not really meant to form the basis of a life plan for the upcoming year, regardless of what O Magazine tells you.

That said, I did make some resolutions that intend to keep. These were mostly tech-related resolutions, which I suppose tells you something about my priorities. Still, they are resolutions, and, I think, meaningful ones. Sort of:

1.) Take more photographs. This is a giveaway, in a way, because I already take a gajillion photos, weekly. So I should clarify: I resolve to take more photos, more intentionally, and in a more diverse range of formats. This year, I’ve been using my iPhone camera, and taking candid shots with it, almost exclusively. I intend to continue doing this – I love my iPhoneography – but I also want to get back to using my DSLR more frequently, and to being more intentional about setting up certain kinds of shots, like portraits and still life. I get awesome pictures of my kids with the iPhone, and do cool things with those photos in camera+, but when I looked back, recently, at some of the portrait-style photos I’ve done of them in the past, with my Nikon, I realized that I was missing some great images. So. MORE NIKON IN 2012!

2.) Encourage my husband to further his relationship with his Canon, and stand back and let him be the Official Family Photographer more often. He’s good with that camera, and he has a different eye than I do, and the resulting pictures are great. And sometimes those pictures even include me, which is kind of radical, and also disconcerting (is my hair really that pale? Why do I keep that white t-shirt that gapes at the arms? WHERE IS MY STYLIST?)

3.) Print more photos, and put them into photo albums. Or maybe even scrapbooks, if I feel super daring this year. Because here’s the thing that I realized late last year: regardless of how organized I think that I am in maintaining my digital albums, and regardless of how secure and permanent the so-called ‘cloud’ is, it remains, for now, that a) I am terrible at keeping track of my hundreds of thousands of digital images, and b) if anything happened to them – a toddler smashes a laptop, say (which has already happened, and rendered irretrievable some hundred of photos that I took in Lesotho), or the cloud implodes because our cyborg overlords deem it a threat – I would lose a treasure trove of memories. Yes, I know that the most important memories are those that I hold in my heart, but my heart sometimes loses its power of recall, and in any case I want solid evidence of my daughter’s attachment to a phallic lovey to produce at her wedding.

Don’t ask.

4.) Take more video, and get better at taking video. I keep missing moments where Jasper punches the bejeezus out of a balloon, or where Emilia stages a interpretive dance performance to Lady Gaga’s Alejandro – or, if I don’t miss the moment, I only capture it inexpertly, or fail to edit it properly. I need to do better with video, because, seriously, now that we have YouTube TV accessible on our flatscreen, I want to relive those moments in all of their hi-def glory.

5.) Get onboard with Pinterest. I love the idea of Pinterest. I just haven’t had the time to figure out how to use it, or, you know, just use it. I want to make time, because, seriously, it looks like fun.

6.) Continue not getting onboard with Google+. Unless someone can convince me otherwise. Seriously, I just don’t get Google+. Aren’t Facebook and Twitter enough? I have social networking limits, you know.

7.) Really, seriously, stay committed to not overburdening myself with social networking applications and groups and circles and all those pretty shiny things that scream JOIN ME. Except Pinterest. I really want to do Pinterest. BUT THAT’S IT.

8.) Curb my app addiction. I have nearly 40 photography apps. I only really use camera+ and a handful of others. And I only read Slate, Cracked, McSweeney’s and the New York Times, and I only play Angry Birds. So, if you factor in a few social networking applications, and the odd random kids’ app, I really should have less that 20 apps on my phone, rather than a few hundred. I’m an app hoarder. I need to deal with this.

9.) Spend more quality time away from my iPhone and all of its sweet, sweet apps. I sleep with it under my pillow. I think that means that I’m too attached to it.

10.) Spend more time off the grid in general. I’ve said before that in some respects, it doesn’t make sense for me to try to delink entirely when my camera and my calculator and my alarm clock and my music and much of my reading material and my to-do lists and ten zillion other daily-use things are all on my iPhone (to say nothing of the fact that our television is fully WiFi-enabled – we watch Netflix and Vudu and YouTube TV instead of cable – and that we stream music through Pandora, etc, etc.). But it does feel good when I determine – and live up to my determination – to not check email or update my social networks or otherwise just tinker with gadgets and apps from time to time. I want to do more of this, this year.

So, yeah. These won’t help me fit into skinnier jeans, or ensure that I get more rest (unless, perhaps, I stop reading Cracked on my iPhone when I wake up in the middle of the night), but if I manage to fulfill even a few of these resolutions, I think that I’ll be a better person. Well, a person with a healthier, more moderate and more productive relationship to tech and gadgetry. Which amounts to the same thing, right?

Do you have any tech-related resolutions? (How could you not? OUR CYBORG OVERLORDS DEMAND IT.)


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    Alma January 4, 2012 at 5:08 pm

    I agree on a lot of these. I take photos on my camera app Camera+ and Instagram too. But i enjoy also on my Nikon too. I like the feeling they both give off. Google+ , can’t get into it either, but Pinterest is crack and I love it. I limit myself with everything and try not to get too overwhelmed with social networking. Nice post.

    Jennifer Lachman January 4, 2012 at 6:50 pm

    I found number 3 interesting because a couple weeks ago I yelled at my mother for attempting to buy my sister a photo album for Christmas. I told her that nobody uses them anymore. They just post their photos on Facebook. I guess I was wrong. Don’t tell her that. She loves to say “I told you so”

    Kyran January 4, 2012 at 8:16 pm

    Oh, I’m glad I’m not the only one sleeping with the iPhone under the pillow. I go to sleep every night to my beloved audible.com app. Bedtime stories for everyone!

    Mother Ruckus January 4, 2012 at 9:31 pm

    I love the resolution to spend more time off the grid. I find when I’m checking my e-mail on my iPhone or reading updates on Facebook on my computer, I’m definitely less in the moment with my kids. I, too, resolve to spend days (or at least parts of days) with my computer turned off and my iPhone used only as a phone.

    Lori Zambito January 4, 2012 at 10:14 pm

    I am really loving Pinterest. I think you will like it too. I think it will be helpful for a blogger because the images can spark creativity. It’s good fun, but won’t help with your goal for getting off the grid!

    Hotly Spiced January 4, 2012 at 11:38 pm

    Oh dear – some of those resolutions are screaming at me. I can’t remember the year I last put an album together. And I do rely too much on my husband to capture every family moment without moving off the couch myself and he does shoot with Canon. Happy New Year to you and may you fulfill all your resolutions.

    Sandra January 5, 2012 at 1:44 pm

    I am actually in the midst (or really, at the beginning) of a photography course so I can learn how to properly use my partner’s DSLR. Taking lots of photos for my new blog – I suppose the blog is the big resolution as trying to provide original content will fulfill my hope of living a more creative and connected life this year.

    And I too sleep with my precious – that’d be me on twitter at 3am….must.stop.that!

    Kristen January 5, 2012 at 2:31 pm

    You sleep with the iPhone under your pillow? I woke up the other night with mine cradled in my hand, sorta teddy bear-style. And the problem is that I have yet to think of this as a problem.

    (Granted, I had fallen asleep listening to my labor playlist, and the fact that I fell asleep AT ALL while 37 weeks pregnant should be enough for me to send a heavenly thank-you note to Steve Jobs.)

    I too am trying to “get into” Pinterest more. My problem is that I haven’t found a way to integrate it into my “social media day” the same way I have blogs/Facebook/Twitter.

    The Woman Formerly Known as Beautiful January 5, 2012 at 5:00 pm

    I am thinking perhaps my New Year’s Resolutions shouldn’t include a diet either. Perhaps one of them should be: ‘Being able to button my jeans comfortably.”

    Elise Davis January 5, 2012 at 6:51 pm

    I sleep with my iphone under my pillow, too! I wonder how many of us there are out there.

    Tina C. January 5, 2012 at 8:47 pm

    i printed out a bunch of photos from artscow.com. i got 600 free prints when i joined. they also make magnets and other fun stuff.

    Amber @ Au Coeur January 7, 2012 at 10:33 am

    I had several New Years resolutions that were technology related. I want to actually learn to use my camera (as in read the manual) and stop shooting in auto. I want to take better pictures, and I know that’s the step…it hasn’t happened yet, but I still have 51 weeks! My other tech resolution is to actually do something with all the videos I take rather than letting them sit pointlessly on my hard drive (which is what they do). That one I’ve actually started on; I edited a video and yesterday was my first “Film Friday.” http://www.amber-hinds.com/2012/01/film-friday-life-in-2011-part-one/ Hopefully I can keep up the momentum! My other resolutions are not tech related (but there’s no dieting there either!). You can see them at http://www.amber-hinds.com/2012/01/2012-resolutions/

    Steph@theminddoeswander January 9, 2012 at 9:57 am

    OH, yes, technology. I hereby resolve NOT to be online doing Pinterest and checking my blog stats while I am actually supposed to be doing crafts with my four-year-old. Oops, already broke that resolution. : ) Love the list, though…

    Jamie January 9, 2012 at 2:44 pm

    Unplugging more at appropriate times. Especially when with my children who call me out when I’m texting and checking emails when I’m with them. (Big double standard for they are constantly preoccupied with something when I’m trying to have their attention — or just enjoy being with them.) But I’m the mom right….got to lead those little babes.

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