I Resolve: My Top 5 New Year Tech Resolutions

This year is going to be different. I resolve to change my ways — at least my tech ways — and make the world a better place for me and everyone who knows me. This is my goal. These are my 2012 New Year’s resolutions.

1) No More One-Word Email Responses

[More from Mashable: Facebook Timeline Is Basically Your Digital Resume]

Email is an overwhelming digital flood that washes over virtually every part of my life. This is because it’s always with me: on my laptop, scrolling through my iPad and hiding in my pocket on my smartphone. It’s unlikely I’ll ever fully gain control of all my email, but I think I can cut it down by maybe 15% if I do one simple thing: Stop sending one-word responses. No more “Okay!” “Thanks!” “Yup!” I may even stop two-word responses. That would mean the end of “You bet.” “Of course” and the double affirmative, “Yes, okay.” Three-word responses will be held to one or two a week and only if I have no choice.

For those who communicate with me via email, this could prove a bit confusing, since some of your email messages to me will be met with silence. I assure you, even if I do not email it, I am thinking, “Yup,” “You bet,” and “Okay!”

[More from Mashable: A 2011 Retrospective Through the Millions of Eyes of Twitter [VIDEO]]

2) Look Up

With all my gadgets I am constantly in touch with everyone and virtually anything I can know. There is always a new news story, email message, tweet, Facebook friend request or Google+ conversation to attend to. I typically attend to all of them — non-stop. This means my head is forever tipped forward at roughly a 45-degree angle. Most people I know are usually greeted by the top of my bald head. I therefore resolve to look up. Now, how I do this is still a puzzle to me. Should I schedule these upward glances? Every 5 minutes I will look up and straight ahead, whether or not someone is in front of me. This could make me look like I have a nervous twitch. Perhaps I can just make sure to look up when someone is in front of me. Even if they aren’t talking to me, this upward glance could force them to do the same and engage in real conversation. I’m starting now, so I’ll take a momentary break from writing this post to look at my wife….Hello, Linda.

3) Double My Twitter Audience

I know some people think the quest for more Twitter followers is crass, but I really don’t understand why. If your job is to communicate, wouldn’t you want to communicate with the largest audience possible? I truly appreciate all 37,000 people who have chosen to follow my Twitter account’s daily tech posts, space and science links, random musings and humor. I would like more people to know about the things that interest me. I have no idea how to grow my account more quickly. I do not want to run a contest or do anything that will change or somehow diminish the quality of my account. I guess I just have to do more of the same and hope for the best. So this is a resolution over which I have no control. Yet it stays on the list.

4) Finally Recover All My Old Data

Look, I’m no archivist, but I love history and think I have a wicked-good memory. The reality, though, is that while I love the past, it is becoming a hazy memory, rapidly receding into the distance in my rear-view mirror. I cannot depend on myself to remember everything, to close my eyes and see my children as they were when they were two years old or recall that drawing I did on my first Mac in 1987 or a short story I wrote on an old Epson computer in 1990. My old storage media, though, remembers everything. Unfortunately, most of that media is about as useful as a coaster. I no longer have the old computers or drives to read the files. My old 8MM video tapes are trapped and can only be played back through an ancient Sony camcorder. In 2012, I will stop procrastinating and begin the arduous process of transferring everything to my computer and network-attached storage and media drive. Soon I’ll be able to relive it all. That is as long as I can successfully read the data. That’s a big if. Please wish me luck.

5) Fill in My Facebook Timeline

I’ve been a big fan of Mark Zuckerberg’s latest invention ever since Facebook unveiled Timeline in September of last year. I even set up my Timeline using the developers’ instructions. That was fun. However, I have a confession to make: I’m really not a Facebook user. I’ve never tagged anyone in a post or photo, I never played a game on the service and, in all the years I’ve been a member, I have poked just one person (stop snickering). Yes, I’m on the service and have lots of friends and some subscribers, but virtually all of my Facebook posts come directly from Twitter. I am what you’d call a lazy Facebook user. That will change in 2012. I will become more active on the world’s most popular social network and will do the legwork necessary to fill in my Timeline (the same kind of work I once did to fill in my LinkedIn profile). It shouldn’t be too hard. In fact, it may even be fun.

These are my resolutions and when we all look back a year from now, I hope to have accomplished them all. If not, send me a note telling me how I failed. I will surely reply, via email, “Of course.”

What about you? What have you resolved to make so in the new year? Share with me in the comments.

This story originally published on Mashable here.

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