Example of a nagging app

Only yesterday I blogged about apps and their tricks to grab our precious attention by making us  install them on our phones in the pretense of helping us.

This morning I wanted to check the menu of a local cafe. I googled and clicked on one of the search results. It’s a Zomato link that looked like what I wanted:

I click on it and get this:

When I click on SEE MENU link, I get this:

If I think a bit about this…

What I wanted to do: check the cafe menu.

What Zomato wanted me to: install their app.

If Zomato’s aim is to help me, it will get out of my way and provide the info I need as soon as possible without any friction. But it seems Zomato’s aim is to make me install their app and advance its interests.

These are exactly the kind of apps and services I should avoid.

Apps and attention

I started reading Raptitude from last year and it quickly became one of my favorite blogs.

The recent post, How Billionaires Stole My Mind, opened up my mind to how social media companies compete for our attention first thing in the morning and succeed in distracting us.

After reading this post, I also deleted Tweetbot app from my iPhone. Twitter now joins the ranks of Facebook, Instagram and other social apps that have no place on my iPhone.

And despite Outlook’s frequent nagging, its notifications remain turned off. The only three apps I allow notifications are: WordPress, Slack and WhatsApp. These three apps are important to me.

I urge you to reconsider and be deliberate about which apps and notifications you allow on your phone. Just because your phone has a lot of space (mine has 128 GB) doesn’t mean you need to install lot of apps and worse still, scroll through their feeds unconsciously.

Yet another leg day 🏋️

I both love and hate the leg day workouts. I love because the gains of one hour of work last for the next 48 hours. No other exercise gets you that much in return. I hate because it is incredibly hard (assuming you are not mucking around and trying to push yourself) to do swings and squats holding weights and keeping the correct form.

Facing every single Thursday feels terrible. But I suck it up hold the weights anyway. It is not that scary once I shut my mind and take the barbell onto my shoulder.

Tenth Anniversary in Sydney

We are having pretty awesome time in Australia. We came here to celebrate ten years of our lovely marriage.

We spent three splendid days in Gold Coast mostly visiting theme parks. The evening street show performed by four guys on Cavill Avenue was amazing; we enjoyed it two nights but donated $20 only once. We also visited Australian Fair and Pacific Fair shopping malls. Not impressed with Australian Fair mall, but loved the vastness and the seating spaces in the Pacific Fair mall.

We then flew to Sydney. Today is day 2 in Sydney. The weather was great (hot) yesterday and we explored CBD mostly on foot. After breakfast and great coffee at Gloria Jeans on the Pitt Street, we walked to the close by Queen Victoria Building and Pitt Street Mall. Then walked all the way to Chinatown. We then got into a tram to Darling Harbour, had lunch at the waterfront mall and crossed the Prymont Bridge to visit Madame Tussauds. In the evening we took train to Circular Quay, enjoyed the night views of Harbour Bridge and Opera House and had anniversary dinner at Wolfies on the waterfront.

Today it rained. We went to Taronga Zoo, bought ponchos, and enjoyed encounters with kangaroos, wallabies and the cutest koalas; the three main animals we wanted to see. We were not keen to see any animals other than these. I went to the reptiles area but didn’t dare to go past the frogs. I detest reptiles, particularly snakes. I love that New Zealand is snake-free.

Tomorrow is our last full day in Sydney. We will fly home on the morning of the day after. We are hoping to explore Harbour Bridge and Opera House tomorrow. Weather seems to be good. Hope it won’t rain tomorrow.

I loved the cafes and restaurants in the CBD. I had great coffee and pizza; great food overall!

Here are few photos.

WiFi and VPN

I usually don’t offer free advice. But I will make an exception this time for the greater good.

Don’t connect your phone and computer to public WiFi networks without VPN.

Install VPN software in your computer and phone and turn that on every time you are about to hook on to public WiFi.

But how? Ask Google. There are many free VPN services for Windows and Mac; iPhone and Android.

Using any VPN software is magnitude better than using none to protect your privacy and security. You don’t need to be a celebrity to get snooped or hacked.