Thursday, March 03, 2011
Sneaking a peek at your #techlife

More and more, gadgets make the world go round. Philippe Gonzalez of Madrid, Spain, describes his techie life:


"From my morning wake up with the alarm of my iPhone, my techie nespresso, the electronic air control in the car, then using the GPS in the car going to a Meeting in Madrid, the use of some apps of my iPhone while I wait at red lights and then arriving to a business center then my computer in my office desk. Then back home, with use of all devices I have, TV set, DVD player, etc., and finally Instagram and the last view of my iPhone before I sleep."


Gonzalez made a photo collage built using the iPhone app Diptic and filtered the images using the mobile photo-sharing site Instagram.


He was one of dozens upon dozens of people who participated in a special assignment we put together in partnership with Mashable. We asked people to shoot a few photos about how they use technology in their everyday lives and combine them into a digital photo collage that tells their story. Then, we'd pick the best ones submitted to CNN iReport and feature them on Mashable.


Check out the results on Mashable in this gallery of the posts you sent and in these photos posted on



PHOTOS clockwise: Phil Gonzalez, Richard Mackney, Arianna Powers, Muhammad Zaki


We at CNN iReport use Instagram quite a bit, and have become intrigued with this very passionate community of photo sharers. We've also seen the impressive photo collages people were putting together using apps like Collage and Diptic, so we thought it would be neat to ask people to share photos of this sort as iReports. As for the subject matter, technology in everyday life seemed like a natural and slightly ironic fit.


So we were delighted to see that people had delved headfirst into the project and shown us all the tangled wires and machinery that rule their lives. We received about 80 submissions from passionate readers around the world. The response was simply awesome. Many came from Instagram users, who almost universally told us there is something special about the people you find there. Those users put a #techlife hashtag on their Instagram posts to differentiate them, in addition to submitting to CNN iReport.


Some told us about how technology enables them to enjoy their unique interests. Brytne LeVasseur-Mason of Willimantic, Connecticut, showed us her recipes app as well as the ingredients she was going to use for cooking. "Technology made dinner happen," she said.


Whit Snow of Park Grove, California, shared images of her daily life as a pharmacist. She said technology is a big part of her job in some ways, but not others. "From automated prescription counters and dispensers, to gigabytes of drug information in our pockets, we rely on technology to bring us closer to our patients. However, even though we're surrounded by the latest gadgets, we still use millennia-old technology like the mortar and pestle every day."


Some used the built-in filters that Instagram provides, and some didn't. Many of these filters mimic old-style toy cameras of days past, casting a faux-vintage look to some images and providing for instant editing on the fly. Dana Benson of Port Orange, Florida, posted a collage using Instagram's Hefe filter, which gives images a vintage appearance. But Kevin Palivec of Hawley, Texas, submitted an unfiltered collage of many, many images and posted a filtered version on Instagram. Wires, devices, a router, dust remover and of course donuts were essential parts of his collage.


In one unique example, Joe Mirabella of Seattle, Washington, used Diptic to tell a sequential story about the space shuttle Discovery launch. He took three iPhone 4 pictures of the NASA footage on his computer screen as the shuttle moved up through the atmosphere, and then combined them into a photo collage that helped tell the story of how he saw the launch.


When we were done gathering content, we had seen everything from computer setups to cars to iPhones and everything in between. Now that you've seen these submissions, what's your tech life like? Do you make collages or post on any photo-sharing sites? Share your comments below, and connect with us on Instagram at the @cnnireport account.

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