Random thoughts: Internet magic, stealth phone, ring back tones, Venmo, Sinemia and Moviepass
The internet is proof of magic.
I still don't understand how the internet works. It's magic. I'm convinced. Images. Facts. On my phone/computer/iPad at any moment? It's being sent to my glass screen through tiny tubes that then broadcasts it through the air? How is that not magic? And supposedly it's all 1's and 0's?! No way. There's no other explanation. Magic.
When we don't understand something we typically seek to disprove its existence. Unless they are things we are over-familiar with - like electricity or cars or stars or skinny jeans. The internet is real. So is Jesus. See my logic there? ;)
I always have my iPhone on silent/vibration. 99% of my notifications are turned off. I just don't like to be interrupted by electronics. It baffles me how y'all can exist with dings and banner pop-ups for everything from text messages to Insta likes. There are all kinds of great ringtones out there, and I chuckle when in a quiet store, someone's phone blares out an 80s tune like "We Built This City," and I watch the owner's embarrassed fumbling to answer quickly. It's especially entertaining as a pastor when in the middle of a sermon someone's phone goes off.
I think, "What possesses a person to set a song or weird tone for their phone these days?" I feel like that's so... 90s? It was cool for a while, and I'll confess to having a Donald Duck voice as my ringtone... 15 years ago.
Think about it. Is having a "cool" personalized ringtone worth the hasty, fumbled, embarrassed, desperate answering you have to do.. EVERY DAY.. when you forget to silence your phone when you go to church or are at a funeral?!
Go silent. You'll thank me later.
And by the way..
All you ring back tone users.. all four of you. You set it up a "ring back tone" in 2003, and it's still on your number and you have no idea how to take it off.. figure it out.
I sent some money to Sam the other day for eating 24 chicken wings. Yeah. It was a Young Life fundraiser. It baffles me why I'd reward gluttony for God, but I did. I hope some teenager in North Carolina is taught about Jesus and self-control with my $24. Anyway. I noticed that there's a social stream on Venmo where you can see how all your "friends" are spending and sending money. And that you can comment on other's Venmo transactions??
I took a screen shot >> (don't worry, I blurred out your names) so you could see this insanity.
This is such rich fodder for a pastor. On the "keg" entry... I'd love to leave a comment. Some entries are cryptic. Is someone buying palm trees from a friend?
Do we really need a social media stream to see what everyone is doing with their money?
On the other hand, this could be a great tool for stewardship accountability and guilt-inducing sermons. "I see you consistently buying palm trees on Venmo. If you have money for palm trees, surely you have money for missionaries where palm trees are native..."
Google's predictive search
Is just unsettling. Begin typing in your search phrase and Google will helpfully fill it in. I assume it's being filled with what others have searched for with the beginning of your phrase. Here's a fun article with some suggestions to try.
Have you had any funny Google search moments?
On Sinemia and MoviePass
I was a MoviePass user during the wonderful days of late 2017 and early 2018 when I was able to see any movie, at any time, for any amount of times for only $10/month. As a movie lover, it was AMAZING. Every time I went to the movies, I thought "this is just too good to be true!" And it was. MoviePass became unreliable sometime mid-summer and completely unusable about August 2018. I always got this screen on my app when I went to use it:
I did a search for MoviePass alternatives and stumbled upon Sinemia. I bit. Though the ticket purchase process was a bit convoluted, it worked. I was back in the movie business in late September. When I finally caved and paid another $14.95 to get the Sinemia credit card, it was more streamlined and pretty much identical to MoviePass' ease of use.
Then came March 2019 when I kept getting this screen on my app:
Then I was texted this news one night in late April: Sinemia Is Shutting Down in the U.S. Effective Immediately The MoviePass competitor has sold its last ticket.
My bitmoji response:
Call me desperate, but this week I was told by a local MoviePass user that it's working again. I'm embarrassed to say that I immediately signed back up. Fool me once, shame on me. Fool me twice... back to the movies!!!!!! (ðŸ¤žðŸ»)
Movies are my "brain candy," and I hated having to pay $11 to see Avengers: End Game. That's the normal equivalent to about four movies for me.
We need things in our lives that don't have a screen on them. Or if they do, it's for a window or a door and don't require power.