Keep Your High-Tech Gadgets And Give Me The Simple Life

I love all the goodies and gadgets in our increasingly high-tech world. I confess, if I were a rich guy with too much time on my hands, I’d probably buy one of 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 a full course of such, well–time wasters.

A recent “Zits” comic strip in our local newspaper really worked for me because it put all the risks and rewards of high-tech personal communication in sharp perspective. If you know the main characters in that comic strip, they are a middle-aged mom and dad with their teenage son. This particular episode of the strip had the son showing dad the latest “super phone” gadget. He described the multitude of things the phone could do all at once–Internet, phone, texting, mobile television, etc. The teen’s closing comment went something like this: “With one of these, you wouldn’t be out of touch or unconnected for a single minute of your life.”

The final panel in the comic strip showed dad with his back turned, flinging the phone far into 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 cell phone service I asked them to turn off the text messaging feature on the account. I not only want to avoid accidentally texting, I don’t want to pile up any fees for anyone texting me.

My television, I use to watch television. Well, OK, we have a satellite dish plan that includes a ton of music channels. Sometimes (like right now, as I write this), I turn the TV to one of those 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 these days I’m going to get ambitious and use our turntable to turn all of those vinyl albums we have from the 1960s into mp3 files. When I have the courage and time to figure that all out.)mputer. I even have a very old relic of a very slow desktop with an outmoded, tiny hard drive gathering dust on a corner desk.

But 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 want to get there. None of my high-tech gadgets are quite as shiny and new as others, but they do what I need them to do–when I need them to do so, not every minute of my waking life.

The simple life. That’s the life for me. Toss out most of the multi-tasking, multi-use gadgets and leave me be. Grump! Grump!