Un-tech Your Tech: Sometimes You Just Need Real Things

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Welcome to the thirty-second installment of Queer Your Tech with Fun, Autostraddle’s nerdy new tech column. Not everything we cover will be queer per se, but it will be about customizing this awesome technology you’ve got. Having it our way, expressing our appy selves just like we do with our identities. Here we can talk about anything from app recommendations to choosing a wireless printer to web sites you have to favorite to any other fun shit we can do with technology.

Header by Rory Midhani



This week, I was going to cover the WWDC announcements. Apple unveiled a sweet iOS 7 with a complete redesign that I think looks really sharp. The new OS X Mavericks has multi-display full screen support and will run 1.5 times faster than Mountain Lion, which is wicked cool. There’s even a new Mac Pro, which I think looks kind of like a trash can, but hey, Apple, you do you.

But frankly, enough people are talking about it. You can see a round up on Gizmodo. Or take a look at the Keynote. Or read about developers getting “sherlocked” (when Apple takes their app’s functionality and makes it part of the operating system.)

I had a death in the family this week. And so I actually don’t want to tell you to go read any of those things, because life is too short to spend every day in front of a computer. Yes, the internet is wonderful. Computers have democratized art making, have brought us together with communities around the globe, have granted us access to information and education that would have been super inaccessible in ages past. Technology is amazingly special, and is certainly not evil. After all, you’re talking to someone who absolutely wants Google Glass in their life. But technology is great in-so-far as it brings our faces together, our work to life. If you’re spending a Saturday, as sometimes I do, caught in the Facebook-Twitter-Tumblr spiral instead of harnessing your tech to make your dreams into reality, I might recommend doing otherwise. Just for today. Just for a few hours. Today, go untech your tech. We’ll be here when we all get back. We promise.

time on a keyboard

Here are some things that are better in real life that you could try. Your regularly scheduled Queer Your Tech will be back next week, with an extra scoop of nerdiness to make up for the sap I’m throwing at you this week. Enjoy your Saturday.

Listen to Someone Read You a Story

Send Someone a Real Letter As They Did in 1876

Sidewalk Chalk

Spray Paint a Shirt

Take a Dance Class

Kiss a Girl (With Enthusiastic Consent) Or Maybe Spoon

Start a Journal

Visit a Museum

Play Some Soccer

Cook Something Difficult or Fancy

Mix Drinks For Your Friends

Take Photos With Film

Go To A Park

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Profile photo of Ali

Deputy Editor for The Inquisitive Eater: New School Food and Fiction Editor for qu.ee/r Magazine. Also an MFA candidate and Teaching Fellow at The New School. Keep up with her at her website.

Ali has written 453 articles for us.


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    I love this, and it’s so true, but I’m scared of hitting on girls. Maybe they won’t like me, y’know?

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      me too! even when i’m out and girls hit on me, i am afraid to make the first move / be rejected!

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        Be fearless. Life is short and if someone rejects you, you don’t want them anyway. Rejection is pretty much the best thing – it means you no longer have to waste your precious time figuring out if you’re compatible with this other human. Right off the bat rejection? AWESOME! Move on to the next item on your list for the day (which on this list is “start a journal,” and v. appropriate after rejection). We need to reframe how we look at being rejected, I think. Or doing the rejecting.

        Also it’s okay to feel your feelings – society has spent so long telling us that getting rejected = EPIC FAIL, so it’s super in our bodies for a lot of us and often it’s not something one can just turn on and off. Just don’t let those voices/feelings keep you from doing things you truly want to do.

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    thanks for the reminder! I totally like this list and it’s especially important since I just bought my first 21st century phone. 😉

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    If I want to send someone a real letter like they did in 1876 do I also have to find someone with a horse to deliver it?

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    First of all, I’m sorry for your loss. Secondly, thank you for this list as I really needed it. I think a lot about pushing gadgets away if only for a little while, and this list was a nice additional piece of motivation. I already wrote a letter to someone special today (in cursive!!).

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    I am going to live this list this week. Thanks Ali. And I too am very sorry for your loss. Take care of yourself.

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    I’m sorry for your loss.

    Thanks for this inspiring article. While I am as geeky and tech-loving as it gets, I will definitely work through this awesome list of ideas. Without keeping track of it on EverNote… 😉

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    i’m sorry too.

    i find this topic extremely important. me & my gf have agreed on a technology-free weekend day (saturday or sunday) every other week. try it sometimes, it’s great and keeps your mind open!

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    This time of year always gets me – my older brother died three years ago this month – and most often, it’s time spent away from my computer, and out in the world, that re-centers me. So, I’m heading out for a walk now. Sending you thanks, Ali, and condolences.

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