Part 2: A Technology That Will Save You Time and Make You Wiser

When I wrote Part 1 of this post, I asked my husband to read it  and give me his feedback (he’s my biggest fan!).  He told me that he did not have the RSS icon in his address bar, and so he could not subscribe in the simplest way I had described.

Right away I began researching, and I discovered that that special little icon is not “automatically” present.  Apparently, at some time in the past I had added an extension to get that convenience.  So in this post, I have two purposes: 1) I’d like to give you a little direction for adding that extension (or something like it) to your URL/address bar, and more importantly, 2) I want to whet your appetite for my next post, which will address why figuring these kinds of little details out are important to the quality of our lives–and I’m not just speaking technologically.

FIRST THINGS FIRST

First of all, I have to give a disclaimer.  I am not a computer expert; but I generally know how to navigate around to find the information I am looking for.  Therefore, my techno terminology may not always be correct, but most people will be able to figure out what I am trying to say.  The main purpose of this blog is to help people discover their “pleasant places,” and for me, that has a lot to do with living and learning more efficiently.  That’s where the technology fits in.

So having gotten that out of the way, let’s move on to the good stuff. Not to worry; this will be easy-peasy.

GOOGLE CHROME

I use Google Chrome as my browser, and the initial instructions for adding the RSS icon to your address bar pertain specifically to Google Chrome, but I will address how to incorporate into Firefox and Internet Explorer, too.

I think of extensions as “apps” for computers; they enhance your experience in whichever browser you use (see link below to read more about extensions–and to see the myriad of extensions available!).   They may be referred to as “add-ons” in Firefox.

To add the RSS icon to your address bar in Google Chrome:

1. Click on the wrench icon (it’s in the top right corner of my browser); select “Options.”

2. Choose “Extensions” from the sidebar on the left.

3. At the bottom of the page, there is a link that says “Get more extensions.”  Click the link.

4. In the new window, type in the search box, “RSS Subscription.”  A list of extensions will be returned.

5. I chose the one called “RSS Subscription Extension (by Google).”  Click the button “Add to Chrome.”

Once you’ve added the extension, you will have the option to 1) make Google Reader your default reader and 2) to click a box that says, “Always use my default reader when subscribing to feeds.”  I suggest you do this, as it will save you a step when subscribing to feeds.  And I am all about saving steps! 🙂 (You may not see this option until you actually click the icon to subscribe to a feed.)

After you’ve done this, you should see the orange RSS icon in your browser’s address bar (you may have to close the browser and re-open first).  This simple little extension enables you to subscribe to blogs and such from within the feeds as you are reading them with just a click or two.

RSS icon

Adding the RSS icon to your address bar

FIREFOX AND INTERNET EXPLORER

To add the RSS icon to your Firefox browser, on the menu bar click “View -> Toolbars -> Customize.”  Scroll down to find the RSS icon (“Subscribe”) and click and drag it to the address bar.  Click “Done.”  And you’re done!  (Here’s a link with this same information but with pictures).

In Internet Explorer, click “View -> Toolbars -> Command bar.”  And you’re done!  In this case, the RSS icon is on the toolbar, not in the address bar.

Now that that’s all done, I suggest you click your new convenient RSS icon right now and subscribe to this blog. 🙂

HOW GOOGLING CAN AFFECT YOUR BRAIN LONG-TERM

As I said, I am no computer expert, but I am very proficient in the art of Googling.  🙂  That’s how I learned what I have shared in this post–how to add the icon in the three different browsers.

As I stated at the beginning, I want to give a quick preview of my next post (coming later this week). Though it may seem a little off-topic with what I am writing about here, it is actually very related from a certain perspective.

To attain the highest quality of life (aka, your pleasant places), it is crucial that we not succumb to mental laziness, for that can lead to all manner of issues that we wish to avoid. Most people–especially those not particularly tech savvy–would rather not bother with “minutia” like figuring out how to add the RSS icon to their URL bar.  They will opt to live without the convenience rather than taking the 5-10 minutes it would require to, first, find the instructions, and then, second, to follow through on those instructions. Or, if an option, they will get a friend who is “good at that kind of stuff” to do it for them. It is this kind of reticence to step outside our mental comfort zones that may contribute to the rise of Alzheimer’s and dementia. Do you think that’s a huge leap?  Check out the following excerpt from A Sharper Mind, Middle Age and Beyond, an article on the New York Time’s blog, by author Patrica Cohen (the underscoring is mine):

Some people are much better than their peers at delaying age-related declines in memory and calculating speed. What researchers want to know is why… As it turns out, one essential element of mental fitness has already been identified. “Education seems to be an elixir that can bring us a healthy body and mind throughout adulthood and even a longer life,” says Margie E. Lachman, a psychologist at Brandeis University who specializes in aging. For those in midlife and beyond, a college degree appears to slow the brain’s aging process by up to a decade…

Granted, I realize that Googling for solutions such as “how to add RSS icon to URL bar” is not the kind of education the author is referring to, BUT Googling for solutions and then following through by implementing those solutions does indeed stretch our mental capacity; it forces us to create and then travel neural pathways that may not be our beaten paths.  And thus, I believe it does measure up to the criteria that the author attributes to slowing the brain’s aging process.

And so, with that little preview of what is to come later this week, I sign off for now and wish you success in the land of Google–and beyond! 🙂

HELPFUL LINKS

More info about Google Chrome extensions

A Sharper Mind, Middle Aged and Beyond

Photo compliments of Flickr.com

This entry was posted in Brain Fitness, Technology and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Part 2: A Technology That Will Save You Time and Make You Wiser

  1. Pingback: Staying Mentally Fit | Pleasant Places

I love to read your comments!