I love all the goodies and gadgets in our increasingly high-tech world. I confess, if I were a wealthy guy with too much time on my hands, I’d probably buy among each and spend way too many hours of my life playing with them. But deep within my heart and soul, I also confess that I’m glad I cannot afford the full course of such, well–time wasters.
A current “Zits” comic strip in our local newspaper really worked for me personally as it put all the risks and rewards of high-tech personal communication in sharp perspective. Once you learn the main characters in that comic strip, they’re a middle-aged mom and dad making use of their teenage son. This particular episode of the strip had the son showing dad the latest “super phone” gadget. He described the great number of things the phone could do all at once–Internet, phone, texting, mobile television, etc. The teen’s closing comment went something similar to this: “With one of these, you wouldn’t be out of touch or unconnected for an individual minute of one’s life.”
The final panel in the comic strip showed dad along with his back turned, flinging the phone far in to the sky.
My phones (both the “land line” and the cell I use) simply make phone calls. I’m not sure, but I think when we got our mobile phone service I asked them to turn off the text messaging feature on the account. I not only want to prevent accidentally texting, I don’t want to pile up any fees for anybody texting me.
My television, I use to watch television. Well, OK, we’ve a satellite dish plan that includes a lot of music channels. Sometimes (like today, as I write this) gadgets deal, I turn the TV to one particular digital music channels and enjoy beautiful jazz or classical music as my fingers trip and stumble across the keyboard. And I even listen to the radio and play occasional music (jazz, mostly) CDs on our just-above-the-boombox-level stereo. (One of nowadays I’m going to have ambitious and use our turntable to turn all of those vinyl albums we’ve from the 1960s into mp3 files. When I have the courage and time to figure that all out.)
Oh, sure, I’ve got a laptop computer. I even employ a old relic of a really slow desktop by having an outmoded, tiny hard disk drive gathering dust on a large part desk.
But also for the most part, my phones simply do phone calls. My Internet connection, when I go online with the laptop, takes me where I want to go and gets me there when I would like to get there. None of my high-tech gadgets are quite as shiny and new as others, however they do what I want them to do–when I want them to do so, don’t assume all minute of my waking life.