I have no idea what we did before smartphones! Do you? As an empty nester, I’m so grateful for the way my smartphone allows me to stay in better touch with my adult kids. It’s so easy to send a quick text, Bible verse, or photo their way. Likewise, they send me texts, video links, and life updates all the time. I love it!
I have an iPhone 7. I got it because I dropped my iPhone 6 in the bathtub when I was, um, texting. Yep. Brilliant, I know. My favorite thing about my iPhone 7? It’s waterproof. (So I can text in the bathtub, of course!)
Since my job is mostly online, people seem to think I know a lot about everything from social media to smartphones. Um, I’m not sure that’s really true, but it did get me thinking! I know lots of you follow me on either Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, or Twitter. (Thank you for that, BTW! Did you catch the recent post where I talked about the new “rules” and algorithms for social media and how it all works? If not, you can read it here.) Most of the women I talk to prefer one social media site over the others. They say things like, “I don’t get Instagram. I’m not very good at taking pictures.” or “I don’t understand Pinterest. Is it just like one big bulletin board?” I get it. I was intimidated by social media until I had to learn it for my job! This may surprise you, but as a blogger, I only spend about 20% of my time writing blog posts! I spend a lot of time on social media doing things like connecting with Empty Nest Blessed readers, publicizing recent posts, and sharing BTS (social media lingo for “behind the scenes”) info from my life.
I think most empty nesters would like to be able to master tech and understand more about social media, but it just seems overwhelming and kind of scary. This makes me so sad! We’re going to tackle tech together, y’all. Today, we’re starting with smartphones, and in the next few weeks, we’ll tackle social media as well. (Send me your questions!) Today, we’ll do a little smartphone
spring, er, summer, cleaning and I’ll give you my best tips for speeding up, increasing battery life, and generally getting the most out of your phone. Along the way, I’m also going to try to teach you some of the updated social media lingo and vocab. (Ya know so that you can impress your kids with your super cool texts and stuff.) 🙂
First Things First
I’m just going to give it to you straight, gals. Your phone is probably filthy. Multiple recent studies have found that your smartphone is way dirtier than your toilet. Once a week, clean your phone with an antibacterial wipe made specifically for electronics. If you have a case on it, remove the case and clean underneath it. (I love my pretty phone case and get compliments on it all the time!) If you don’t have a glass screen protector, consider getting one to protect your phone from a potentially expensive screen crack. (Here’s the one I have.) Also, can I say how much I love my pop socket? It’s changed my life! If you don’t know what a pop socket is, let me fill you in! It’s a collapsible grip and stand that’s removable and moveable, meaning you can change its location on the back of your phone at any time. It’s upped my selfie game, and made my clumsy phone drops a thing of the past!
Back it Up, Baby
If you haven’t done it in awhile, you need to connect your phone to your computer to back up everything. That way if something happens (um, like dropping it in the bathtub while texting), you won’t lose anything important.
Wanna see what apps are draining your battery? Go to Settings>Battery (in the third grouping). At the top of the Battery page, you can either set it to see the past 24 hours (default) or the past seven days.
Update the Software & Apps
Go to Settings>General>Software Update. Follow the prompts to download and install the most recent update. Then go to the app store, and click on “update all” to update your apps. Connect your phone to WiFi before doing this as sometimes big apps like Facebook won’t update unless you’re connected. BTW, you can turn on automatic updates, so your apps will update automatically, but it really drains your battery, so I don’t recommend it.
All About Apps
Too many apps on your phone can slow things down. Be sure to close your apps once a day or so. To do that, double click your home button and swipe up on each app. Also, delete apps you don’t use. (You can always reinstall.) Also, while we’re on the subject of apps…I have a friend who refuses to pay for apps and will only use free ones. We had to have a little talk about that! Nothing is truly free, y’all. Apps are businesses, and they’ve got to make money somehow. Many “free” apps do that by subjecting you to ads, upselling you to make in-app purchases, or by selling the information you had to give them when you created a password. Sometimes it’s worth paying a few bucks for a better and more secure in-app experience.
Location, Location, Location
You probably want to turn off location services for all of your apps except for navigation (which requires it). To do this, go to Settings>Privacy>Location Services>scroll down and either turn location services off or set them to be enabled only while using a specific app.
To manage and customize notifications for your apps, go to Settings>Notifications>scroll down to each app, and either turn notifications off or customize how you want to see them on your screen.
Preserve Your Photos
If you’re like me, the photos on your phone are precious to you. You don’t want to lose them. (Say, by texting in the tub…) Consider using an online storage service like Amazon Photo (unlimited and free with Amazon Prime) to save your images. Then delete them from your phone. (So you won’t lose them if you drop your phone in the tub because you’re texting in there…yeahhhh.)
Sashay on Over to Your Cache
Recently, I was having some trouble getting things to look right on my phone when I went to certain websites (um, like this one, for instance!). When I reached out to my tech people, they told me that I needed to clear my cache, both on my phone and computer. Your cache is the stored collection of images you’ve viewed on your device. When too many images are stored, it takes up lots of memory, messes with what you see on website pages, slows down your devices, and drains your battery. Since I do most of my work on the computer, I clear my cache once or twice a month, but I’d never done it on my iPhone. To clear the cache on your computer, Google “clear cache” and follow the instructions. To clear it on your iPhone, open Settings on your phone>Scroll down to the fifth group of options (the group that has “Accounts & Passwords” at the top)>Tap “Safari” at the bottom of this group>Scroll down again and tap “Clear History and Website Data”>Tap “Clear History and Data.”
I hope you learned something new today! Do you like the idea of this series? Let me know if you have any additional questions and I’ll do my best to answer them! What do you want me to cover next? HMU (social media lingo for “hit me up”) in the comments and let me know, okay?
Embellished Floral Top | Scalloped & Embroidered White Crop Jeans | White Leather Must-Have Wedges | Watch | Pearl Stud Earrings | Tory Burch Sunglasses | White Clutch Pouch | Phone Case | Pop Socket | Nail Polish | Toenail Polish | Lipstick
Every year, I seem to unconsciously choose a color combo that I fall in love with — and if you’ve seen my Instagram lately, you know that this year it’s clearly blue and white! (It just seems so fresh and clean for summer!) This loose chambray tee has the cutest 3D white embellished flowers on it, making it the perfect thing to pair with my scallop & embroidered hem jeans. (See below for detail shots.) I styled them with these must-have wedges. I love them so much that I have them in brown as well! They’re easier to walk in than you think because of the little platform on the front. I’m 5’5″, but if you’re petite, these will add a little bit of height. Every time I wear them I notice Bob standing up extra tall, so he’s still taller than me. Hahahaha! My favorite thing about them, though, might be that they’re part of Nordstrom’s give-back Treasure and Bond brand, which donates 2.5% of net sales to nonprofit organizations empowering youth. 🙂
I hope you’re having a good week. I’ve been a bad blogger and seem to think I’m still on vacation! LOL. Isn’t summer great?
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Photos by Megan Weaver.