adc 2016 resolutions

With the end of 2015 nearing and beginning of 2016 on the horizon, many people will soon flock to the gyms, cut down on their (more than) daily Starbucks runs, start to read actual books again, and maybe even cut down on how many shows they binge watch in the span of a week. If all of that does not appeal to you, here are a few tech-related resolutions that you can make that will have a similarly positive impact on your life. Let us know in the comments or on social media what your resolutions are for this upcoming year… and good luck!

1. Stop getting into Facebook/Twitter/etc arguments

The time has come to stop arguing with family, friends, and strangers across the world. Trust us, you will be much happier if you are not tied up in arguments you never intended on getting into in the first place. Spread a little Christmas cheer by becoming a more positive person on social media, and make it last throughout the year.

If you’re getting into Facebook arguments in particular, consider “unfollowing” friends that you often argue with. To do so, navigate to their profile page and click the button that says “Following”, the dropdown that shows up will give you three options – See First, Default, and Unfollow

[name of friend]. To stop seeing their posts and items they are tagged in on your Newsfeed, just click “Unfollow”. Alternatively, if you want to see more posts from someone, you can choose “See First” so that you more frequently see their posts.

Of course, Facebook makes it pretty easy to avoid conflict but not downright remove someone as a connection. Most other social media platforms don’t make it quite so easy, in most cases you will have to disconnect completely as there is no unfollow or hide feature.

2. Put your phone down at dinner, at the movies, at breakfast, at the bar, and… you get the picture.

It’s rude, and it’s SO 2015. Try to value real-life interaction more than online communication. Let’s face it, it’s commonplace to respond to a quick text or post a quick photo online, but don’t make a habit of pulling out your phone while spending time with your family or friends.

Want a little context of the photo shown here? This image was taken at the British Wildlife Centre by Gareth Williams. Gareth noticed a beautiful Snowy Owl pass by right before taking the photo, but these visitors to the zoo (in particular the guy) were a bit too consumed with their tech to realize that such an extraordinary animal was nearby.

This type of thing happens all the time, so let’s all try to look up from our phones and tablets and computers a bit more and interact with the world around us.

3. Stop filling out copy-and-paste surveys on Facebook (and other Social Media sites)

We’ve all seen the before, and unfortunately we’re probably not going to stop seeing them… ever. They’re called MySpace surveys and that’s because this type of thing gained popularity on MySpace back when that was a thing. Most people have been tempted by one at some point but the time for them has certainly come and gone. Chances are most of your friends aren’t going to sit down and read a 100-question-long status, and even if they did what would they gain from it? Spend your time sharing real content from your life and avoid filling these out just because you’re bored.

Bonus! Regarding security: With these questionnaires you are giving away all of your secrets! When you create a password are you likely to choose something from your history or something that you like? Probably. And when you post one of these questionnaires as a status update, you’re handing over a good portion of your personal info on a silver platter for anyone to see (even if you’ve set it to private, someone could easily copy/paste it elsewhere).

Chances are that’s not the only thing you should stop doing on Facebook, here are 20 more things that Mashable finds annoying.

4. Start tracking things in your life

Technology is supposed to make our lives easier. Years ago, apps revolutionized how we use our phones, now we can customize our experience with our mobile devices. So let’s put our phones, tablets, smart TVs, and computers to better use.

If you take a handful of medications, it may be in your best interest to use an app to help keep track of your meds and remind you to take them on time and regularly. In fact, WebMD (you know that service you use to tell you that you have Lupis because you coughed a few times) has a bunch of apps in addition to their primary app.

If you’re a TV addict like most of the world and you like to binge watch shows, consider downloading a tracker for your TV Shows. Most of these apps will show you previews and allow you to add shows to your queue and mark them off as you go along. This can help you prioritize your shows and also remind you whenever a show you follow airs in case you want to watch it live. Be warned, though, if you are a true TV addict it can be quite scary seeing all of the TV shows you watch in one place!

5. Use tech to help you get fit

Exercise more and getting into shape are common New Year’s Resolutions, but instead of running out to your nearest gym and singing up for a membership, consider using what you already have to start your fitness and weight loss goals.

Streaming to your TV has never been easier. With an Apple TV or Chromecast, you could download or stream free exercise programs from YouTube or elsewhere to your TV. With a few accessories such as a yoga mat, weights, and quality tennis shoes, you can get a great workout in without leaving your home. Blogilates is a great online program that was developed for exercising at home, check it out and give it a try. The owner does a great job of providing quality, free content on the website as well as email campaigns and social media… can’t beat that!

You may also want to consider a fitness tracker or another wearable such as FitBit, Apple Watch, Android Wear, or Samsung Gear. All of these devices vary in terms of price, features, and look so take some time to determine what you want out of your wearable and what you can afford as well. Once you purchase a device make sure to set it up so that you have fitness goals and also reminders to stay active throughout the day.

6. Seriously, stop texting/tweeting/snapchatting/facebooking in the car

Ok, most of us are guilty of having checked our phones while driving. Let’s make 2016 the year we actually commit to putting our phones down and focusing on the road.

The concern used to be talking on the phone, to which the answer was speaker phone or cars with built-in bluetooth. Now the temptations are even greater – Texting, Facebook, Snapchat, Twitter, and even live-streaming (yes, we’ve seen people do that) are becoming another common distraction behind the wheel. Every year over 1.6 million crashes are caused by texting alone, according to TextingAndDriving Popular mobile phone carriers have even began to put a spotlight on the issue.

You may have seen this signage (above) before from AT&T’s “No Text On Board” campaign which urges users to text “#X” to anyone they are in a conversation with before driving. Ideally, the person you are talking with will understand this code and wait until you have arrived safely at your destination before continuing the conversation. Of course, texting is just one, small piece of this puzzle, but by removing this temptation hopefully drivers can focus more on the road and refrain from using their phones for other tasks as well.

7. Use your obsessions for good

If you constantly find yourself on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and other websites/social media platforms, consider spending your time wisely by partnering with an organization you find value in. Many organizations have social media accounts and websites, however many non-profit organizations need help maintaining these important parts of their mission. Outreach and fundraising is so important to just about every non-profit, and both websites and social media can be low-cost and effective ways of reaching people.

Perhaps you can consider donating your time to work for the organization in these ways, or maybe you can promote an organization through your personal profiles. Essentially, regardless of your background and experience, there is an organization out there that would greatly appreciate the help you can provide. Several of our employees enjoy spending their free time helping their favorite non-profit organizations in the North Dallas area such as political, animal welfare, religious, and youth organizations.

8. Clean up your image online

If you will be searching for a job in 2016 or seeking to make professional connections, this is an important resolution to make. Future employers and your connections are likely on social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and especially LinkedIn.

You may think “well my Facebook is set to private” but that does not hide everything, remember that your cover photos and profile photos are still public. You may want to consider setting some of your posts to public, that way your profiles don’t seem so locked down and private when a potential employer or connection searches for your online.

Recently Guy Kawasaki visited North Texas and was the speaker for a Social Media Dallas event that we attended. His presentation provided insight into “How to Perfect Your Personal Marketing“. These tips are valuable for those looking to improve their personal branding online through Social Media.

9. Stop posting photos on Instagram with black or white bars on the tops or sides

This is an easy one. In 2015, Instagram released an update to allow vertical and horizontal photos so now there is no need to use a 3rd party application to add bars to the left and right or the top and bottom to make an un-square photo square. Ideally you should post square photos, because that’s the way Instagram intended their app to work, however if you wish to upload vertical or horizontal photos, do so properly.

We covered this more in-depth in our “5 Tips for Businesses Getting Started on Instagram” with our section on To Square Or Not To Square?

We wish you all a Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, and a Happy New Year! We hope that 2016 is a great year for your and your business. Remember to let us know in the comments or on social media what your resolutions are for this upcoming year… and good luck!

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