Blog Feature

By: Jennifer Devitt on July 29th, 2014

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Technology enhanced summer fun! Unplugging not required.

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Summer fun. Ever notice how during summer or warmer months your habits change? You may be more active or fit during warmer months because you are out and about enjoying the sun versus sitting on the couch. If you spend time on social media, some channels notice a little less buzz, while others may see a surge as people share their adventures or disappear for a while. In days past TV watching used to slump during summer months while mainstream TV was on hiatus, but these days Netflix fills the void of summer hiatus. As is the case with many things these days technology has an impact on things in the summer months. For some that can be good, others it opens yet another whole new world.

As we all know, there are many types of technology and many ways it can be used. There are digital devices, apps and more. Some people are all for some unplugging time, while others find awesome uses for technology, stay plugged in but unplugged from work. Some people have happy mediums, some can't unplug, while others still find new and great things to do because of technology. I think I have mentioned before, we typically don't unplug. I find ways to use technology, my iPhone or iPad to enhance my experiences away from my work environment. Below are some fun or creative ways tech can enhance your summer.

1. Travel Apps. Apps such as TripAdvisor can give you reviews of hotels, activities or restaurants wherever you may be traveling or even in your own neighborhood. You may even find a new favorite place to visit.

2. Bluetooth Outdoor speakers. Whether you prefer Bose, Beats, portable or speakers installed on your deck/patio speakers, music is always a welcome addition. Most people these days stream from their iPhones or another device to speakers. We enjoy sitting on the deck, streaming whatever music we are in the mood for, sipping a cocktail.

3. Digital Thermometers. iGrill is a family of digital thermometers you can control via your smartphone. By way of utilizing the corresponding app, you can monitor your cooking while spending time enjoying something else nearby. You can mingle more with guests, kick back and relax in the hammock with a cool drink while monitoring your grill via an app.

4. Ebooks. Whether you are an iPad fan or Kindle advocate you can crack open a book anywhere by having a bookstore at your fingertips. I have found many times during baseball delays that I pull out my iPad and find a book and/or magazine to read and pass the time.

5. High-tech portable coolers. The "Coolest" is a portable party, not just a cooler. It boasts a blender, cutting board, and built-in Bluetooth speakers!!

6. Recipe finder. Let's face it you have a computer at your fingertips. Rushing about picking things up for a last minute cookout? On the lookout for a quick, easy, crowd pleasing recipe. Weber Grill has you covered. They have a grilling app of course! And you can just google countless other yummy, outdoor recipes.

7. Trail finder apps. There are apps out there like Map My Ride or Run Keeper they help either the fitness enthusiast or casual summer adventure seeker find new trails to explore while tracking mileage, calories, etc.

There are many ways you can use technology outdoors. You can use your tablet or phone to capture pictures or videos to relive later as precious memories. You can share your adventures via social media with families or friends who are far away. Send Grandma the video of learning to ride a bike, the home run, the fun in the pool and more. Technology isn't just a cable that ties us to work. It is whatever you make it. It can tie you down if you let it but it can enhance your life. I know we have talked about it here on the blog before. But I believe Apple knocks it out of the park in its "What will your verse be?" ad campaign. Don't be confined or defined by your devices, use them to enhance your life. How do you use technology in the summer? Have a favorite device or app to share with me?