When The Battery Dies

My iPhone 5 has reached the stage where the battery lasts not quite a day in my regular use. I have clung to this model long past its reasonable life, it seems. Low power mode, a feature of iOS 9, has helped. But, on especially busy days where I’m not near a charging source to plug into for a bump mid-day means it will not last until the end even then.

I have no desire to upgrade just now, though I am due, as the larger size of the iPhone 6 line neither appeals to me nor [fits the way I use the device](http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tk9T2SYFHuY). In fact, the move from the iPhone 4 to the 5 pushed it past my comfort and preference as it was — so I have no desire to go even further beyond. The majority prefers a larger phone and screen, apparently, which is fine. I never felt the tug to be part of the crowd. The rumor is that Apple is making a phone for people like me. One closer in size to the iPhone 4. If so, I will be delighted.

I have been using a battery case on my iPhone 5 for the past couple of weeks. This certainly gives me more life and allows the battery to last the day most days. The problem is, of course, such a case adds the size issues that I have specifically tried to avoid by upgrading and makes the device less usable to me. So, I’m removing the battery case. It’s more hindrance than solution.

Thankfully, I have another option available to me that others might not even consider. One that might be helpful to others as well. One that may help the battery last throughout the day or, at least, longer than it otherwise has been without the battery case… Use the iPhone less. Less "checking in" on Twitter. Less taking photos. Less using it to write. If the battery does die, prematurely, before I’m able to connect it to a power source, I’ll learn to be comfortable with that. Let it die.

The one solace we have with all of our devices is that there’s a sure and true way to deal with any issue with it we encounter with them: There’s always an off switch.

Not All Introverts Are Quiet

At a party, you will find me being gregarious and able to easily engage in conversation with others. At a conference, I have little problem discussing the points of the speaker or opening a dialog in the hallways with fellow attendees. When I was a student in class, I never had an issue with raising my hand and asserting my view when called upon. I even engage store clerks with friendly trivial banter about the quality of the day. “Quiet” is not the first word that would come to mind to describe me — even by those who know me well or have known me for a long time.

What they often don’t see at the party is that I have specifically chosen one or two people I know and singled them out. I engage them in a deep discussion so that I can focus only on them and try my hardest to tune out the rest of the surroundings. They probably don’t notice that, even then, I find an empty room or a space outside in which to disappear for twenty minutes at a time. So I can sit there, alone, and recharge my internal batteries enough to go back to the party. They likely don’t know that by the end of the night I feel as though I’ve ran a race, in the rain, all up hill. Every nerve in my body feels taxed and my emotions wrung out to dry.

Those at the conference could not possibly know that it has taken me years to muster up the energy to attend. That if not for some very important topic or unmissable speaker I would never have come. That until I run into someone I know or meet someone I can engage with one-on-one, my overwhelming instinct is to find the nearest exit and run out of it as fast as I can. That it will be another few years before I can face another event like this. That I need to block off a full week following this one with as little human contact as possible so I can rest my spirit enough to engage with anyone outside of my immediate family.

When I was in high school, I often skipped less important or uninteresting classes because I could just not be in a single room with thirty other people for a moment longer. I would walk back home or go to a nearby park, recharge, grab a quiet bite to eat, or read a book. Only then would I walk back to school for my next class. If I had an English or History class, both of which I participated in and loved, you could almost guarantee I would sometimes opt-out of whatever class followed those. How do you explain to a school counselor that, ideally, you need one class period unscheduled following every one you have scheduled? That time alone in a room with a good book is as important to your education and well being as any class you could take during that time? You don’t. I didn’t. So, I skipped. Let’s just say it made no one very happy and my grades in no way reflected my ability or intelligence.

My introversion was even a surprise to me initially when personality tests called it out. In fact, my first time taking a Meyers-Briggs Personality Assessment, I questioned my MBTI score enough that I decided to take many more, at different times, to see if they would come out the same. They all did. I’m an INFJ (Introversion, iNtuition, Feeling, Judging). Introversion in the MBTI does not always mean someone who can’t be social or behave in ways that the world would perceive as outgoing. In fact, many famous people and leaders would also fall in the Introversion spectrum. For instance, Martin Luther King, Mahatma Gandhi, and Nelson Mandela are all INFJs.

I’m friendly. I can assert my thought or opinion when asked (and many times when not). I like having good, meaningful, conversations with friends and strangers alike. I can get up in front of large audiences and speak without overwhelming anxiety. While if given the choice between going to a party or convention or staying home alone I will choose the latter, that does not mean I don’t generally find value in the former. I just know which one will give me energy and fuel my spirit and which interactions will deplete them. It is this difference, hidden to many, that defines my status as an Introvert.

Not all introverts are hidden in our extrovert biased world because we are quiet. In fact, some of us are hidden because we are not quiet. We are able to hide it or we have personalities that cause us to appear otherwise externally. So, when thinking of the word “quiet” in relation to introverts, think not about how we act in the world at large but, instead, how we need to react to it to survive.

On Beats 1 and Internet Radio (Some Suggestions)

I’ve been a fan of radio since I was a kid. My father, in fact, is an audio engineer and got his start engineering at various radio stations. Like many my age, radio was the only way to discover new music. Today, 95% of my listening to any media, news, or music is on the radio. I’m lucky enough to live in a market with several really great public and independent stations so it remains a great way for me to discover the new stuff.

But in that group of stations I listen to is also a number of Internet radio stations. I’ve been a fan of Internet radio since, well, I was introduced to it by Apple. You see, even in the earliest versions of iTunes, Apple included an impressive array of existing Internet radio stations one could listen to in iTunes. For many years now, when I fire up iTunes it is principally this list of stations I have turned to. I have long listened to radio in iTunes far more than my own music collection (crazy, I know).

This week marks the release of Apple’s new Music service and apps. Many like me are still trying to wrap our heads around what, exactly, Apple Music is but I think that is largely because it is trying to be so many things at once. But the one thing I got right away was their new Internet radio station, Beats 1. I’ve only been listening to Beats 1 for a couple of hours but it really is fantastic so far. Everything one would hope Apple would offer in a radio station of it’s own making — smart, well curated, globally focused.

So, now that so many are finding enjoyment in Internet radio and many are discovering the idea for the first time, here are just a few of the great stations I’ve listened to for years now:

  • KCRW Eclectic 24 — A streaming service of Los Angeles Public Radio, this is always incredibly well organized and curated collection of music that delivers on it’s name. It is heavy on new releases and I know that almost every time I listen I hear something I’ve never heard before but love and have to check out more of. I’ve discovered so many great artists through here alone that I’m sure I never would have heard before. It’s fantastic.

  • Radio David Byrne — This is more of a shared, looping, playlist. Sometimes put together by David and other times put together by his friends. There is usually a theme (May was African Pop, for instance) and the flair is towards the international and world music. But, it is always well done and lots of fun to listen to.

  • Soma FM — This is actually a collection of themed streams but all of them are great. My favorite of the bunch has long been Groove Salad, a melange of downtempo and chill electronica. It’s the one I like to put on when I’m just hanging out, having a dinner party, or just want to have some music playing in the background while I work. This is, I think, the first Internet radio station I ever listened to.

This does not even begin to scratch the surface of the wonderful Internet radios stations that are out there. There literally is something to fulfill every taste. If you are new to the idea of it and are enjoying Beats 1, I urge you to to check out the many others that have been out for a while.

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