Hey, hey, you, you, get off of my iCloud!

two_glossy_cloudsI’ve been the sole Apple iTunes account holder in our household for some time now. I got the iPod, the iPad and iPhone before my significant other did. When he got an iPod finally maybe somewhere around 2005 (I swear), I would just upload his music until he understood the world of the iTunes library.

He’s now quite proficient in the world of music uploads, music library creation and the general good mix playlist.

But until yesterday, when my beloved acquired an iPhone, we never had to worry about the ubiquitous cloud. The master of the Apple universe where fortunes are made (for Apple) and functional explanation is questionable.

And so it begins:

Him: “What is the username and password to the iTunes account” 

Me: “username/ password of the moment”

Him: “not working”

Me: “Oh yeah, I had to change it yesterday.”

Him: “That’s annoying.”

Me: “Deal. Oh by the way… [insert forwarded email from  iTunes  noting that someone had logged into the account.]”

Him: “Why are you getting those emails?”

Me: “Because that’s the email associated with the account.”

Him: “But it’s not the same email on the iTunes account.”

Me: “Because that email hasn’t been used since Napster ended.”

Him: “Oh. Ok, fine, but why are your photos now being uploaded to my phone? “

And then the “A Ha” moment. The cloud had hit us. With the factory presets of iOS 7 in place, our phones were inextricably bound by Camera Rolls, Photo Streams and images of all the things I sell on eBay.

I gotta get him off of my cloud.

The cloud can prove useful to a marriage, say, now we can share the Starbucks app and earn rewards faster, faster. (Yes, I’m a junkie.) But it can also come at a huge price: I had to change my Uber app password because I didn’t know it when he wanted to log in from his device.

Oh yes, we could have created two separate accounts, but what’s the fun in that?

I’d rather cloud share than go at it alone. All while drinking my reward-earned with hard working dollars free soy chai tea latte. 



Text message remorse and rules to remember

cell-phone.jpgIn trying to figure out the best way to make, contact and keep new SAHM friends, I have to remind myself that everyone’s communication preferences are different.  My preferred method of communication is still e-mail – a holdover from my working mom days. But e-mails are harder to come by and typically the slowest method of communicating with an SAHM. (Unless such SAHM has a BlackBerry, and although the devices are picking up in popularity with the mommy-set, they’re still few and far between in my circle of friends.) So that leaves me with two options of communication: calling by phone or sending text messages. If I could avoid the phone I would.  Thus, if given the option, I’d rather text first and call later.

But texting is a very different animal than e-mailing as I’m finding out the hard way. An incident earlier this week has left me with a sinking feeling about creating, sustaining and maintaining friendships through text messaging. Have you ever sent a text you regretted?

The target of my regrettable text probably knows me by face but not by name. She’s another SAHM in Chicago and we share certain things in common – yoga classes, mommy classes and courteous waves in such class parking lots.  Perhaps one day we would be friends if put in the right circumstances.  Like, what if by chance we were vacationing at the same place in the great state of Colorado?  I could have tried to let this coincidence occur randomly and see if by chance we’d pass each other on the vast slopes of the mountain, but due to my lack of impulse control (remember these boots? yeah, I returned them, ok, moving on…) I decided to contact this almost-perfect stranger and send a little electronic envelope her way. 

Texting rule #1: only text people who you are sure will know who you are when they receive your text.

It took effort for me to figure out her number (I’m really not going to go there because it pretty much makes me seem the world’s biggest stalker) and more effort to figure out how exactly to word a 50-character count message to someone I barely know from someone she likely doesn’t remember. 

Texting rule #2: if you can’t articulate what you want to say in a text by using acronymns, don’t send it. 

But it all seemed so funny and random at the time.  What are the chances that two moms from Chicago would have their children signed up for the same ski school program many miles away? I mean, I saw her kid there (and scanned the sign in sheet for pertinent information, g-d I’m such a stalker).  This coincidence NEEDED no, DEMANDED to be documented. So I did it. I rewrote the message several times and when I landed on a version that I thought was the least-SWF-ish I hit send.

Texting rule #3: if you think your text reads like it’s coming out of nowhere, then it probably is.

Crap. Crap. Crap. What did I just do?

It felt so normal to send a text to a person I know by face but whose number I was guessing.  It seemed funny to bring up a silly chance encounter in 25 words or less via a little silver device. But I knew that when I didn’t hear from her for 24 hours that the damage had been done. After two days went by I tried and tried to “recall” the text.  Did you know that you can’t do that? I didn’t until this week. By yesterday, I knew all hope was lost. My text fell into the dreaded “who the F is this?” category.

Texting rule #4: if you don’t hear back from a text within 30 minutes, consider yourself text-less.

Problem is, I’m kind of addicted to my new BlackBerry Pearl and because I’m really not getting as many e-mails as I did when I was working, I like to have a reason to use it. (Yes, I’m a tech geek just like all these other women, shoot me.) I like the triple-beep noise the device makes when I recieve a message back. I like how much easier it is to use Smart-type than a numerical keypad to type the letters.  I like the immediacy and impersonal-yet-really-personal nature of the beast.

But when you text on a whim to a number you’re not sure will recognize you, you must be ready to face the consequences that the text might vanish into the technology abyss of the trash bin.  And if you’re trying to make new friends by this easy-but-dangerous mechanism, you might think twice before you hit the little green send button or you’ll get yourself a great case of text message remorse.

Texting rule #5: When in doubt, become friends first, get the number via normal means and just pick up the phone.

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Cross-posted at the Chicago Moms Blog, where I know my text messages would be recognized.