Tag Archives: technology

Hannah Hart Beat

My Kindle & Me: A love affair by any other name

Hannah Hart Beat

Hi, Hart Beat! This is a post I never thought I would be writing but, alas, here we are and the year truly is 2017. As my friends know, I’ve always been an avid reader. I’ve worked in libraries over the years and one of my favorite things to check out when visiting anywhere is the local bookstore. All things being said, for YEARS I hated on any kind of e-reader. Kindles, Nooks, iPads, you name it, it was on my hate (exit boat) list. That is until I turned 27 and my eyes started blurring and my back started aching. While I will not admit I’m getting older my body begs to differ.

So, before I went on a trip with my mom last month, I broke down and bought myself a birthday present in the form of a Kindle. I didn’t do much research because, you know, #denial but the little reading I did do directed me to the Kindle Paperwhite E-reader for its size, price, and highly ranked reviews. I bought it quickly and ever since it arrived on my desk at work, I have a new love affair.

Anyone I come in contact with I can’t help but spew my love for my Kindle. I’m a changed woman! It’s light! It doesn’t have any glare! It fits in my pocket! I can carry inch thick hardcover tombs with me at all times! I can carry five books at once! I can carry five hundred books at once! Honestly, I could go on and on. My love intensified when I found out that I can borrow books from my local library through my Kindle. In turn, I can support my public library and not spend any money. Amazon, I forgive you. Kindle, I love you.

I’m not 100% sure exactly which combinations of effects are working for me in the reading department but since purchasing my Kindle I’ve read almost than double the number of books I read in a year in a month. Truth be told, some of them have been YA books now that I don’t have the (stupid) shame of people’s judgmental eyes on the train but YA is good, man! #hungergamesmadeitso

  • The Handmaid’s Tale, by Margaret Atwood
  • Bad Feminist: Essays, by Roxanne Gaye
  • All five the Sisterhood of the Traveling pants books, by Ann Brashers (crying through all of them of course)
  • The Da Vinci Code, by Dan Brown (because I missed the crazy years ago and needed a thriller through Italy)
  • The Circle, by Dave Eggers (which I am now more than halfway through and TERRIFIED for my digital footprint…)

And now the best part. What are you reading, Hart Beat? I’m quickly running through the list of books I’ve had and would love any suggestions from you. Love in the time of Kindle, Hannah

Four Apps I Use Every(ish) Day

Hannah Hart Beat Apps

Morning Hart Beat! What apps we all have on our phones apparently can predict how old we are, what gender we are, and how much we make at work. Creepy right? What I got after taking said quiz was I basically had none of the apps listed on my phone. It got me thinking, what do I keep on my phone. I won’t list all of them but here are my four most used apps in the last few weeks. You have any of these, Hart Beat?

Ham Lottery App
= Reminds and helps you enter in the daily Hamilton the musical lottery.

That’s right, this app’s one job is to help you enter the daily Hamilton lottery to win same day tickets. I’m sure you like me, Hart Beat have been obsessed with the AMAZING MUSICAL MAGIC that is Hamilton. If not then stop right now, don’t finish this post, and listen to the official cast album. When I realized my my life would not be complete until I saw this musical live on Broadway I had a slight heart attack when I realized tickets are sold out into next Holiday season and sit at prices like $200 per ticket. After realizing this I did some digging and found that shoe does a daily lottery for 21 same day front row tickets which are sold for $10 each. The catch to the lottery is that you have to enter each day.

And that’s where Ham Lottery App comes in. Besides having the icon of a hilarious cartoon ham, the app sends you a notification every day when the lottery opens and lets you easily enter. MY FINGERS ARE CROSSED EVERY DAY AT 11AM.

VSCO
= Makes it insanely easy to edit photos on your phone.

I like Instagram, Hart Beat. And as much as I love my actual real life camera, I definitely take my photos for Instagram on my trusty iPhone camera. What that means is most of them need a little doctoring up and that’s where VSCO comes in. The app has hundreds of pre-made filters that you can download to find the exact amount of contrast, coloring, shading, and highlighting that you want. Additionally, you can manually edit each photo if you want it to look juuuuuust right. I use it all the time that I don’t even know what filters Instagram actually has now.

NPR One
= Now listening to public radio the most enjoyable and convenient thing in the world.

NPR rules my life and WNYC runs my morning routine. As soon as I wake up in the morning I turn the radio on and it’s really not until late in the afternoon that I turn it off. As soon as I get back home it’s on again. Let’s just say that I pretty much never turn it off. For years I had an old radio that used to be in the kitchen when I was growing up but in my move down to Bay Ridge, it stayed back in Greenpoint to keep Samantha company now that I don’t live there anymore. In it’s absence I’ve come to love the NPR One app. It’s basically pandora for raidio and podcasts. The app first asks you to pick a public radio station that you prefer (WNYC is New York’s public radio) then the app plays a stream of national, local news stories with podcasts mixed into the stream. It learns what kinds of stories you skip over and what you “fave” and uses this information to play more stories that you’ll like.

What I love about the app (other than more NPR more of the time) is the news is always on and the app plays even if you don’t have service. For my commute that means that I can load a dozen stories before getting on the subway and can listen to the morning’s news while commuting. Long live NPR.

Nike + Running
= Easily track runs.

I wish I could say I run every day but I definitely do not. When I am running though, Nike + Running is what I use every time. The app uses both geolocation and pace tracking to track how many miles you run and how what your miles per hour time is. I find this helpful mostly because while you are running at every mile a voice will come on and say in a soothing robotic voice “One mile run, time 9 minutes thirty seconds per mile” or whatever your average pace that run is. I don’t know if it’s the fact that I am actually seeing or hearing my progress but each time I run with the Nike app I run more than I would without it.

To Phone or Not to Phone

Hey Hart Beat. I hope your week is off to a good start. As an avid listener to WNYC (yes in fact, I actually never turn it off) I’ve been listening to a lot of press about the New Tech City challenge “Bored and Brilliant” where the radio show is challenging listeners to put down our phones more. The idea is that every day the show shares a short episode about the benefits of putting away your phone and share a concrete task that you can try that day.

According to the show, the average American spends on average 2 hours a day on their smart phones. To be honest, I feel very conflicted about this new project. Personally, I know I’m on my phone a lot and mostly on my commute to work. I use it to listen to podcasts, read, take photos and keep up with whats going on in the social media world. Even though I know that part of this project is to create more creativity in boredom, I feel like I get a lot of my inspiration from reading and listening to things.

On the heels of this new program, I read an opinion piece by the amazing company Artifact Uprising about taking a photo a day to document childhood. I don’t have kids but this idea was also really intriguing. Maybe the perfect combination of these two projects is to be more mindful of how we’re using our phones. Take photos of your friends and family intentionally but maybe not text your brother a photo of your dog looking cute for the 100th time (aka day 2 in the challenge.)

What do you think, Hart Beat? Are you following the phone challenge? What are your thoughts on the time you spend on your phone?

Photos that I’ve taken on my phone in the last month.