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Why I Love Google Maps.

Technology never ceases to amaze! Nearly everything around us is automated, check yourself, you could be too. But really, how many times are we presented with a gadget only to use it to the bare minimum. We only use it for the functions it’s built for, yet it there’s so much more we can do with it. I’m a statistic here. I don’t know, call it laziness, lack of curiosity or maybe contentment with what you can do with it in the present – despite you not fully utilizing its other functions.

What’s made me talk about this? Google Maps. All these years, I’ve struggled with directions. I suck at them and I’m in no position to deny that fact. In my mind, when I’m giving the directions they sounds so right and obviously direct, only for the person on the other end to completely get confused by what I’m trying to say. I want to say “turn left” but instead, I finger point the direction and say, “go this way.” I don’t know if it’s a chic thing or not, but that’s how it is in my case. Is your daughter/girlfriend/wife like that? I won’t ask her because she probably thinks she’s a pro at giving directions.

With Google Maps, there’s no more drawing directions on papers, it’s about spotting your location on the map, dropping a pin there and sending it to your visitors via text in the form of a link. They in turn just click open on the link and it takes them directly to where you live via Google Maps. There’s no more arguments or disagreements in the car because the lovely lady on the other side of the phone (app), will tell you what to do –> in 200m turn left. I love it when she does that.

For a long time, we struggled. We would be invited to a place we don’t know of and we would spend a good amount of time trying to figure out where it is on phone or arguing which turns to make or not to make – it’s consuming – energy-wise and time-wise. Especially how directions arguments eventually become an accusation at some point –> “But I told you it’s not that way”, “I told you it was that way and you ignored”, “you just missed the turn”, “just concentrate and look for that bill board/post – co-driver looks down for a second and the board is a far distance from the rear mirror.” The struggle is real.

One day, our lovely friends (The Ngigi’s) introduced us to Google Maps. They dropped us a pin – via text. It was in the form of a link and we were absolutely clueless on how to go about it. We opened it but then what? So we of course didn’t manage to use it. We got lost, argued along the way but eventually got there. Not knowing the directions can make you change your mind about visiting a place. For that reason, on arriving, the first thing we did was get some Google Maps 101 from our friends. How the hell do we use it this frigging invention? It’s a driver’s little heaven on earth, and the co-drivers sigh of relief.

From then on, we’re Google Map evangelists. It’s quite simple actually. Let me show you how to use it in 5 simple steps:


 

Step 1: Go to Google Maps on your phone Menu.

Google Maps, Google, Kawi Snippets, Technology,

Step 2: Under search, click on the arrow that looks like a direction beside it. This is so that it maps your location (My location).

Google Maps, Google, Kawi Snippets, Technology,

Step 3: Enter your Destination point – where you want to go.

My Location - GM

Step 4: Activate your GPS (it’s right next to where you adjust your sound or activate Mobile Data and WiFi). This is for it to map the path from your location to your destination, like below.

Map Location - GM

Step 5: Start Navigation (see that arrow on the image above) – then let the lady on the other side of the app take you where you want to go. Apparently, most if not all our roads are well mapped, so even if you want to go to up country or off road, you’re good to go (these are very layman terms by the way).

Google Maps, Google, Kawi Snippets, Technology,


 

God forbid that we never have a phone without Google Maps, because the reliance is a bit too much now. On that note, we established that Google needs to do some user education on the use of some of their applications. They seem easy once you grasp the concept, but before you do, it’s an uphill task. One that we humans are at first too skeptical to take, until we realize how much it’ll save us. And that’s why I love Google Maps!

PS: This is not a sponsored post. It’s just out of the appreciation and love of it. Evangelist things!

Signing Off ~~~ *Kawi*

Where Did You First Meet?

Have you watched the video by Train – Marry Me? The 1st time I watched it, it made me look back at how I would tell our story. And boy, don’t we all have different stories to tell? They make beautiful memories.

It’s one of those questions you can only escape for so long. Your friends always want to know the story. Even when you feel it sounds boring and you’re tempted to spice it up a little more. There are people with really interesting stories though, truth be told. Some met in a bus or a flight or on transit; others were high-school or campus sweethearts or neighbors or church-mates, while others in random places like supermarkets, barbecues or Facebook (and other social media channels – Instagram, Twitter … name it). Most of these are usually by chance, the world does the magic for you and your lucky stars are aligned for your paths to meet (or cupid for those of you who believe there’s a chubby kid shooting love arrows around). There’s some awww’ness in the versatility of these stories, from the simplest to the complex ones.

I think with our busy schedules these days, it’s possible to miss these chances that used to be our rather obvious ways to meet. I don’t know if it’s because work is more than it used to be or it’s because that’s the kind of life we’ve chosen. But, for some reason most people are too preoccupied to open their eyes and look out for those kind of connections. It doesn’t stop there, someone out there noticed this gap and developed a platform for you. Innovation I tell you. An online dating platform, yes, you heard that right. I know what you’re thinking, I thought that too.

Dating, Relationships, Online Dating

I have always thought online dating sites to be dodgy or for lack of a better word just creepy. We all have that ↑  negative perception about meeting someone online. Plus after watching “Dates from Hell”, you forever have second and third thoughts about ever being on a blind date. Anyhow, back to our dating site, it’s a Kenyan one by the way and the 1st of its kind. Ian Isherwood (Kenyan, born & raised in Mombasa), the founder of the DateMe Kenya, says this idea came about when his friends complained about how hard it is to meet like-minded people in Nairobi when you’re juggling professional responsibilities. He’s seen it work in the Western countries (America and Europe), so why not in Kenya? The site aims to provide an exclusive, hustle-free platform for busy professionals to meet compatible partners and experience quality online dating in a safe, secure and private online environment.

Personally, I still have my reservations. Let’s blame the movies. If I was not taken, my timid self would still stick to the traditional way. I must have either known you or met you somewhere (either by my own means or through friends) but a blind meet, nah nah!

What’s your take on this kind of platform? Do you think it’ll fly in Kenya? Would you be open to meet or search for “your person” online? If someone told you they met their spouse online, what would you think? Do tell.

Signing Off ~~~ *Kawi*

Social Media in Relationships – Toxic or Not?

I was once a junkie. A certified junkie of social media and all that comes with it. You know how you want to share every aspect of your life with other friends and strangers online. You’ve woken up, you’re working, you have too much work, the music you’re listening to, you’re bored, you’re shopping, your location, you’re eating, you’ve gone to bed and the likes. It was fun to say the least, while it lasted. You didn’t have to quite go out of your way to communicate, because this is information that you’re freely divulging, no one is pressuring you for it or telling you how to go on about it. It’s like you’re in relationship with your phone (or gadget) and you’re the one in control. The social media sites are your journals where you say what’s going on in your life at a particular point.

social media

My friends would also comment on how I was into social media. Well, it hadn’t occurred to me to say the least. Especially since what I was doing wasn’t wrong. If anything, I was just being the social animal that I am. So I would just brush it off. They would say about the number of friends and followers I had, but still nah. It was good for me in the sense that while socializing I got to learn a few tricks here and there that we could use for business to gain some competitive advantage, make new friends and the best of all, kill bore-dome. Talk of making your lifestyle somehow work for you and enable you to make ends meet in more ways that one.

Then of course, things get a bit more serious. There’s school and work. In as much as social media was part of my JD, it wasn’t the fun-filled life updates no more. This one comes with targets, KPI’s, you can’t just post whatever comes to your mind. It’s basically different. To some extent it taught me that I should be responsible for what I expose online, how far should I go in. Is what I’m posting necessary, what impact will it have on those people who follow me or those who are my friends. So much thought process goes into it. Such that a simple post could be expected to do a lot. For business purposes, it should create awareness and push a customer to purchase your goods or service.

Bearing this in mind, I also became a follower and a reader (observer). I would like to know what other say about something before blindly posting. Sometimes I just want to be on the sidelines and read what others have to say. It’s somewhat interesting, it’s like you’re gossiping with imaginary friends, getting updates on what’s going on with your real friends and strangers, getting news on what’s happening around the world. So sometimes I could find myself so deeply engrossed.

Then came something I didn’t quite have before. A relationship. Now, a relationship means that there’s this person who wants your attention and needs some time out of the ordinary to get to know you better. A bit better than the rest know you. This is because that’s the other person you spend lots of time with, they foresee a future with you. Now, when was it that we used to access social media the most? After work and school. Now, here’s this special person who’s craving your attention. This person you have to kind of please by making some delish dinner once in a while. Before, I would reach home so exhausted, throw myself on the couch, grab my phone follow-up on “social media news updates or better yet gossip and things that don’t quite add value to my life”. Before I know it, it’s so late that the best I can feed on is cornflakes or milk and bread and an egg or baked beans to make it a tad bit healthier.

It’s just interesting. Of course it didn’t take me a day to realize that social media can be addictive and it can also be quite an anti social behavior. Until the mister pointed it out. It was more like, “you spend so much time on the phone and especially on social media”, or once or twice in an argument he made a random statement like “you can just talk to your online friends, they listen to you better”. Of course me in my defensive nature, I didn’t get the point then. I was like “how can you even say something like that? *sob*” It’s later I asked him what he meant by that statement because it kept ringing and ringing at the back of my mind.

Then he says, it’s like you’re more comfortable talking to your online friends, giving them updates more than you are telling me or talking to me. I know right, it came as a shock to me as well. Took me a while to even accept that he would think that. Of course that’s the reality that was. I just wasn’t ready to accept it. This is the life am used to. When you’re alone, there’s no one to share your stuff with, so you resort to strangers – social media. When you say something people would comment or say something in addition and make some fun out it. It’s better than talking to walls ain’t it?

Social media is not so social when it comes to relationships.

Well, that was a problem. Social media can be a problem. It can be a problem when there’s someone sited next to you, someone hanging out with you or someone trying to get your attention. That other person feels like they’re the ones talking to a wall. Like you want to share certain aspects of your life online but whatever it is that you’re telling other people online you can also tell them. Why not? Is it they won’t catch the joke or is it that you have more fun with this other people, that you probably don’t even know than you do with them. Or you have a problem between the two of you and you all go your separate ways and update you status with some subtle hints to your significant other. Such that when they read they know it’s directed to them. Why not just tell them, text them privately.

Social media becomes a middle man in relationships, the communication hub between spouses. The one who says he said this, she said this. Or the third wheel, you know that friend who tags along on your dates even when uninvited.

This doesn’t mean that you can’t be on social media and be in a relationship. LOL. Would I survive? Just kidding. It just means that you have to respect your “you time”. You have to set your own boundaries. When you’re hanging out, put away the phone. When there’s something interesting to update, share with your significant other (because they are there with you) then you can even go like let me share this one *on your preferred social media platform*. It just goes ahead to show that you’re free with them and that they’re also fun to hang around with. It gives you time to catch up, talk about your lives, your expectations and other important things that relate to you and your lives. It doesn’t make sense that you can post your location on social media but you find it weird that your spouse wants to know where you are or they would like to at least be updated on the same. He/She cares, people on social media really don’t.

If it’s an issue in your relationship, the subtle hints posted as notes or updates on social media hurt more than they pass the message along. So instead of telling your online friends, why not just communicate between the two of you and try solve whatever it is without people prying into your business? I think it ends up better than when you air out your dirty linen. We’re all human and we all have dirty linen, unless you’re perfect. How you handle your problem or clean your linen is what makes all the difference.

Let people see your linen hung on the lines sparkling clean and not dirty. They even don’t need to know how the linen got dirty, if it got dirty or how it was cleaned. That’s none of their business. But they do care that you’re both cool with each other.

I didn’t learn this in a day and also not in the easiest of ways. Oh, neither am I an expert on relationships. But I eventually did, still am, that’s what that matters. Making a mistake ‘big or small’ and learning from it, then sharing it with you.

For those in a relationship, what has been your experience on the same? For the singles, do you ever think this will be a problem when you start dating?

Signing Off ~~~ *Kawi*

BEHIND THE MASK *Internet Life ≠ Real Life*

I made this observation not so long time ago. There’s the real life, then there is the internet life. Maybe I should do a brief definition of what I actually mean by those two types of life to be exact. So that at least we can be on the same page.

Real Life – Who you really are, when socializing with real people who you can see, that you have probably met and know how they are.

Internet Life – Who you are when behind your computer typing away on the keyboard, when typing the key pad of your phone, when no one else can see you, when no one knows who you are, when you act out the kind of person you would want to be in the real life but can’t be – The person behind the Mask.

The reason I even decided to write about this is because… actually let me first ask two questions?

  1. Have you ever met someone who is your internet friend? You chat with them, you have seen their pictures and all. And you decide to do a meet up?
  2. What was the result of the meet up?
  • Were you excited and happy?
  • Were you surprised and perplexed?
  • Did you feel like you were short-changed because the person you met ≠ to the person you were socializing with?

I wish we were doing a form of discussion, then I would get to hear people stories…Most of the ones I’ve heard are SUPER HILARIOUS. The thing with the Internet Life is that you can go the extreme, you can google, put up pictures that totally bring out who you are not, you can just not be you. But in real life you don’t have a choice…you’ve just got to be you

(There’s room for pretence in real life, but there are some you just can’t..If you are shy, you are shy…unless you’re high on something, if you’re short/tall, then you are…unless you take the shrinking pills like in cartoons, if you are black/white, you are that).

I shall not deny, I love Social Networks…like really, the “people” and people in there, can really make your day interesting…They are all out of this world. Majority of them are cool, interesting, funny, hilarious, intelligent… have perfect responses to difficult/confusing situations. Chances of getting stuck intellectually when you are on a social network are slim.

The is a reason they are called Social Networks, they HELP in socializing…that’s just one aspect of your life. The social aspect of it. There are many other things in life and the mistake we do is look for them in the Social Networks. And that’s where I would say that Internet Life ≠ Real Life

People go look for Life in the Internet … Acceptance, Security, Purpose, Fulfillment, Happiness, Love, Solace … Well just to burst your bubble, that’s the wrong place because for sure you will find all that…and an extra bag of chips to top it up. The Internet never lacks anything. It’s a synonym for China. I have never gone to China, but I hear “ask and you shall be given – bootleg, comes in high , average and low quality”

Basically, Internet Life is a fake. As long as you’re transmitting anything over the Internet there’s always an exaggerated version of you *Believe it or not*. The only time Internet Life = Real Life is when there is a Meet Up. When you see the real person behind that computer or the person behind the mask.

The pictures, the information on internet can all be altered. The pictures could be photoshoped…the picture can make one perceive you as tall while you are short, information you give can make one think you are super outgoing while on the other hand you are shy and introvert… You get my point I know.

Meetup’s as much as they don’t tell you the whole truth, at least reveal a small part of the real person. It eliminates the thought of you being a bot (robot) or a fake. I always get surprised at how different a person can be on the internet from the real life and that’s the reason why I came up with this post.

Today’s Advice:

Keep Internet Life and Real Life Separate, in case you have to mix them  up, meet-up with the Real People. And don’t look for Life in the internet because it’s Life-Less!

CHEERS MATES!

Signing Off — *Kawi*

Generation Twitter – Facebook Facingout

Okay this weather is just so confusing. I thought I saw the sun yesterday, and today am freezing like hell #paradox ….lol but I always freeze now that the sun rays never reach my desk, am on that disadvantaged side…next to the window but far from the rays.

Anyway, this post was to explain how Twitter has now become a lifestyle hence the generation twitter, I mean even Mark Zuckerberg (Facebook Founder) feels threatened ooh which he should…hehe at the rate twitter is growing, Facebook might just be  Facedout. Seeing as am having a testimonial on my twitter usage already.

I can’t remember how I heard of it really twitter that is, oh yeah, I read it on CNN about this US president who used to tweet i.e write short updates on the different aspects of his life, i.e. his location, the weather, mood and they were found years later and were said to be tweets. And that twitter has taken that idea.

So I was like, “It sounds cool”. And I go to twitter.com and faithfully sign up with a username and password. And when the first page opened I was so clueless of what i’m supposed to do. So the excitement automatically faded seeing as am techno savvy or so I think..lol So being a normal human being, I forget that I had joined and go ahead with life, by that time facebook was the in-thing haha am talking about it like it was 1900BC.

Like months or a year later people start talking about twitter, and I remember I had an account but I can’t remember the Username and Password….and this is what we would call the:

“The Twitter Initiation Phase”

I can bet I’m not the only one whose done that, like three quarters of the guys I know on twitter have gone through the same.

So anyway, there’s no manual to tell you what to do next, so I started with my profile, then I figure, there’s no activity going on, I don’t know who to follow, who to follow me… so I was just putting updates like “Twitter is so complicated”, “I’m not getting how this is done”…lol and slowly some tweoples started following me, and I got the whole drift not really though.

I mean I still thought FaceBook was the thing, clearly I hadn’t tapped twitters full potential. And so I would visit it once in a while, although there was nothing appealing or driving me towards it.

Then comes the next one:

“The Twitter Familiarization Phase”

This where I started realizing, that I can actually use twitter as a communication channel, you know where I can follow a couple of friends and non-friends who have information that’s of relevance to me and they would follow me back or vice versa.

It’s where I realized the value of the two most important symbols “@” and “#” whereby @ is the reference to a follower such as @Someone , then # is for trending topics, or for emphasis on something. Once you get this two, I think you are set. You’ll enjoy for some time.

Then comes the:

“The Twexpert Phase”

This is where you totally enjoy Twitter, where the you get the drift, know your way around. Now you’ve become a veteran, You can Retweet(RT), you can quote, reply, Direct Message (DM), put links and so on.

It’s where you have been able to get he right tweets on your timeline by identifying the interesting people with interesting and beneficial tweets.

I think once you know how to use twitter to your benefit you can actually get a lot out of it besides te social part. I mean it has people of different professions, people who know different things and update you. It’s a mini Wiki…lol, just that a status is limited to 140letters, which is a good thing, hence the name “tweet”. #ilike

I could be having a lousy day and some tweetmates actually make my day.  They are virtual friends but feels like they are actual friends… which they now are, I mean the best thing is to associate a tweet with a face, for the tweetmates i have met #cheers #tweeton.

For those who take twitter to personally, woe to you, it can make you or break you, just like any other social network. It also the best social network for those people who like anonymity i.e. being anonymous , you can keep your guard low like tweet away without people judging you or knowing who’s actually behind that tweet.

There are many applications that one can use to access twitter other than twitter.com, and until I realized that I used to find some of the twitter functionalities quite a burden like retweeting and so on, so at the moment am on ~ Sessmic Web App, and on mobile dabr.co.uk works well.. All this thanks to my Tweet Techie ~ @mwendariungu just giving credit where its due am nice like that lol

The only thing I hate about twitter, is when you are going to access it, and it brings you a #FailWhale Totally sucks, especially when you are burning to say something of importance yeah right.

Otherwise i’m a content twerson, I like twitter though am not yet an addict #ithink besides the hashtags even on text messages on phone, hope I dont hash tag when sms’ing my dad..ha! He would be so clueless #fail

Looks like am marketing twitter but in the actual sense not, I just like the whole idea. If you’re not in it, you are missing out.

Ok, not me literally, but that’s the essence of TWITTER – Follow me, I follow you and we interact {that’s me making up my own things…lol}

Signing out — *Kawi*

Mind in the gutter

I couldn’t have been with you so long and you just slip off like that, I mean, surely that’s so unfair. So tender so young I started out with you. I think I was 17 clearly seeing I was even underage, You took advantage of the fact that I didn’t know what I wanted in life, my direction, my desires, my interests. I was totally green and naïve to the world. Okay, I brought myself to you, but instead of denying me of the chance and giving me excuses like you’re too young, or in experienced like everyone else would do, you whole-heartedly took me in. Our relationship went through up and downs thick and thin.

But we maneuvered through it. At some point I hated what you were doing to me, I was even wondering why am with you in the first place. You know the kind of parasitic feeling whereby am the host being chewed on by you, the parasite. Well, I never thought of leaving because I am a persevering person#ithink and I apparently work well under pressure, ok truth be told, I wanted to run away from you, because I was feeling like you’re not giving me enough, I did not know what I wanted with you. It’s like you were using me, not cool. You gave me so much pressure and made me anti social at some point, gave me sleepless nights, sometimes I would even forget to eat because of the stress you were giving me.

You know how someone would know what they really like about whatever they are having a relationship with. In this case, I could not specify what it is exactly I liked about you, yeah, I had you and everyone else saw like our relationship is a budding one. It was great in the outside. But in the inside I was clueless. Maybe I was just too young and inexperienced for sure. Everyone else seemed to be alright and in touch in their relationships. But as usual I try avoiding comparisons you never know.

Anyhow, from this relationship I learnt a whole lot. It made me grow in places I never thought I would grow, it made realize things I never thought will come to my realization. It made me who I am today. It opened my mind and gave me ideas. It taught me to be curious, inquisitive and exploring.

You allow us to have an open relationship, like you allowed me to see others and try them out without feeling jealous. I ogled at them and told you straight to your face and you were still faithful to me. You allow me to use ou with others and you’re still my main one. You’re very generous.

You’ve tolerated me for five years now, and still want to be with me, but I’m the one slipping away. I have now realized that, and you are just the other best thing to happen to me. So me and you till the end, thanks for the open relationship.

My relationship with INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY is now supposed to get back on track , I am starting to embrace it and I want to give back what  it has taught me all this years and how well it’s treated me. Well, PROJECT MANAGEMENT is my side kick ;) !

Signing off — *Kawi*