I think it’s so groovy now.

(No Man Is An Island No.1)QUITE SOME TIME back I made it my personal modus operandi to shirk, or at least shrink back from, technology. But this year I finally popped the red pill.

For one thing I am currently committed to creating whatever I’m going to create by way of these plastic chiclets now clicking beneath my fingers (augmented, of course, by the occasional pinching, twisting, and dragging on the trackpad). And that, as opposed to a former commitment to creating things mostly with my hands, a few rudimentary tools, and not as much electricity. As the years advanced, my sculpture was just getting too large and too dangerous for me and those around me.

So like a Scottsdale pre-schooler with his first iPhone, I’m drunk with the exhilaration of newfound connectivity. And a little freaked out at the same time; given all the avenues open to a writer today, combined with my legitimate need to make myself visible and available, I’m writing constantly, “putting it out there” as they say (all the time wondering if some 2 a.m., some of it might show up again on my doorstep, meowing).

It’s a concern because enough is coming at me already, simply by virtue of being connected and out there. My work as an independent writer and creative director for a diverse group of clients means I want to stay connected and available, whether in my office or out and about, on the train, even on my bike.

Which brings me to the real point of this post, a little trick I’ve learned to keep my iPhone from being filled up with duplicate copies of the same emails coming in on my Mac laptop. If you’re similarly equipped, have POP email accounts, and deal with this same problem (especially the resulting tedium of deleting emails from your iPhone one-by-one) here’s what you can do. (So this earns its spot on social media, I’ll give the following a LinkedIn-worthy title, Six Steps To Keeping Your iPhone From Getting Filled Up With Duplicate Copies Of The Same Emails Already On Your Mac Laptop So You Don’t End Up Having To Delete Them One By One. I Hate It When That Happens.):

  1. On your laptop, go to Mail > Preferences > Accounts.
  2. For each account also on your phone, click on the Advanced tab at the far right and do the following.
  3. Checkmark the first two boxes and set the pull-down menu on Immediately. (This step means servers somewhere will not have a backup copy of your emails. I don’t know about you, but for me this is not a big risk. I’m pretty sure every email I’ve received since 1998 is still in my Inbox.)
  4. Now leave Mail and go to System Preferences > Energy Saver.
  5. On the Battery tab, uncheck the last of three boxes, the one that reads, “Enable Power Nap while on battery power.” Now, while  your laptop is asleep but running off the battery, it won’t receive emails, allowing your iPhone to receive them first.
  6. On the Power Adapter tab, check the last of three boxes, the one that reads, “Enable Power Nap while plugged into a power adapter.” Now, while your laptop is asleep but plugged in, it will receive emails. And because of the setting in Step 3, each email is removed from the server and won’t necessarily download to your iPhone.

Configured this way, I’m able to receive emails on my iPhone when I most need to, at those times when my laptop is stowed away, unplugged, in its carrying case; or when I’ve left it on my desk at the office (assuming I remembered to unplug it). All my emails still come into my laptop when it “awakens,” but I reduce significantly the ones that are duplicated on my iPhone.

While I was thinking about how to explain all this, a movie soundtrack brought to mind a song I hadn’t heard in many years. Released in 1968, along with some of the dorkiest songs produced in the second half of the twentieth century, Reach Out Of The Darkness could have won the Pulitzer Prize for dork. But buried within all that stuff about Peace, Love, and Understanding were these lines, and if I set aside my personal reticence to connect as well as my ’60s skepticism about schmoozing, it almost seems to have prophesied forty-five years ago the revolution that we find embodied in social media today:

I knew a man that I did not care for, and then one day this man gave me a call.
We sat and talked about things on our mind. And now this man he is a friend of mine.