Three more tech fixes for the poetic life

My two year old granddaughter has worked out how to stop and start nursery rhymes on Spotify. She pushes buttons on the TV remote control until something appears. She swipes screens to see what happens. Her newly acquired vocabulary includes ipad  and loading.

We grown-ups may never be ‘digital natives’ like her, but we can keep building our tech understanding and vocabulary in service of a richer life. I’ve recently had to ask what fintech means (financial technology e.g. online banking), and had to look up the acronym SEO (search engine optimization – how to include words that Google or other search engines use to rank the websites that appear in searches. If you sell bathroom tiles, then you want your website to come up when someone googles anything related, like bathroom, grout, renovation.)

The alternative to feeling inadequate is to harness the part of oneself that enjoys learning, and put tech learning in the same vein as finding out about a new novelist or investigating what can be done to help avert climate and environmental disaster.

People are the best source of information. People who know love to explain tech things. So keep asking – ask the shop where you bought it. Ask online. Ask younger relatives. Ask friends. Ask their children.

Three more fixes:

1. Finding what you’ve lost

Be reassured that it’s actually quite hard to break or lose anything on a phone, tablet or laptop.

Sometimes though we delete things by accident and need to get them back:

  • Command/control Z undoes changes when you’re typing. You can go back multiple steps using this.

  • The Edit menu in Word, and some other programs, has an Undo command which will change things back to how they were.

  • If emails get deleted by accident, they can be recovered from the Trash folder.

  • If files get deleted by mistake, they can be recovered from the Recycle bin on your computer.

To find lost documents, emails, or files, use the powerful Search box that you’ll find in most of the apps and programs and mailboxes. You can type in the name or even just a few key words.

To avoid to losing anything, always save the most recent versions of what you’re working on when you stop for a break.

IMG_7557 screen.jpeg

2. Occasionally put everything away

… which is also my way of keeping my house relatively tidy (except in the studio, where leaving things lying around seems to help… but that’s another story).

  •  If you have an iphone or ipad, a quick double click on the home button gives you all the apps that are currently open. Put your finger on the app picture and swipe upwards to close that app. Keep going until they are all closed. Push the button again, and you are back to the home screen with everything tidied away.

  • Closing apps every now and again matters because open apps keep on working in the background, even though you can’t see them. This drains your battery and uses up your data allowance.

  •  It’s good to tidy up the computer too, every 2 or 3 days, by closing all your open documents and pages at the end of a session. This will Save, or invite you to save, your most recent work. For the full tidy up, once a week at least, Shut down the computer and Start it again when you come back.


3. Twin tub, anyone?

Tech has developed so fast that using a device bought five years ago is rather like using the grandparents’ washing machine. It may be time to look for a new model to feel the excitement of the wide open space of more memory and faster processing times …


If a new model is some way off in the future, you can upgrade what you’re currently using:

  • Upgrade your memory by using the cloud or by buying a separate hard disk. Use this disk to store older photos and documents, and so free up space on your device.

  •  Upgrade your apps and software whenever the computer invites you to. This is important for security too.

  •  Upgrade your skills – recent phones and laptops are incredibly powerful. They can turn your speaking into written text; they can read aloud to you; they can do all sorts of things that are waiting for you to find out about.

which takes us back to asking people …

** What do you want to find out and who could you ask?

I’m working on an online course for those with a wild edge who are living a full life and yet still yearn for something more beautiful, more exciting, more moving, more soulful, more poetic. I want to support you in finding ways to experience the world more deeply and more consciously, to explore lost or dormant artistic or poetic passions so that you can make conscious choices to create and carry out poetic projects that bring joy and deep satisfaction.  

Lynne CameronComment