Last night while driving in the van with my children, the conversation led us to planet Technology. What? You didn't know we had a new planet in our solar system? Well, if you look up into the night sky you will see a set of stars off to the east that form what looks like the map of Japan......well just above that, a little past Uranus, is a flashing red light. That light is actually Planet Technology.......the RED flashing light is pointed at us on planet Earth. And guess what folks? It's beaming subliminal messages at us to plug in, wire up, tune in, and tune out ALL THE TIME.
Can you feeeeeeeellllllllllllllllll it??
The other messages? Buy, replace, toss away...... be in the groove with new, new, new and improved! .......bigger, smaller, better........more gadgets, channels, sounds, actions..........gotta have.....must want......you're a loser if you don't own.........YOU CAN'T LIVE WITHOUT IT!!
gotta have, gotta have, gotta have...........
I find Planet Technology a very strange place and the affects it has on Earth, and I'm beginning to feel like an alien on my own planet. I know I'm definately in the minority now. I can't keep up with the new techie terminology, I can't understand most conversations when two people are chatting it up about the latest game for their playstation whatever......and I completely don't understand the need to have a phone tucked into my pocket so I am accessible at all times.............so I will never be lonely?? I don't get any of it, and besides my cellphone, which is work issued is so archaicly chunky, would never fit into my pocket. It remains in my van for the most part, unjuiced presently.
More shocking (to others more than to me I think) is that I don't really want to get it........except when it relates to the change in human behaviour.
That part of it intrigues AND concerns me.
I once owned a walkman 20 years ago. It held cassettes. I never used it and I never wanted another version. It's not that I don't like music. I LOVE listening to music. I simply prefer it playing on a stereo, on the radio, from my computer, from my family who like to sing around the house. My favourite place to listen to music is when I'm driving. When I go for a walk at lunchtime during the work week I want to take in the sounds of my downtown. Same if I'm on the walking trail down by the river. Same if I'm traipsing through Toronto in the middle of rush hour. I want to hear my own song intertwined with the song of life around me. Maybe if I commuted everyday for long stretches, or if I travelled extensively for work, I would change my mind. I'm sure I would. But, my surroundings don't necessitate this, so it's moot to me personally.
My family all own mp3 - ish gadgets........purchased in the last two years or so. My conversation with my children revolved around the evolution of this technology and how the newest version can hold a gazillion songs because of something called GIGS?? (And to think I thought that was a jamming session with a bunch of musicians) Not only that, you can upload, download, reload (does it wash a load??) movies, music, interviews, concerts.....you can email, take pics, search the internet.......some I think are phones too?? And they are WAY smaller than the versions they have. Needless to say, they were informing me that theirs were obsolete in comparison.
My question to them, said admittedly with sarcastic syrup in my voice................."Why not wait until next Christmas season when ANOTHER version is foisted upon us making this year's version obsolete and relegated to the discount bin by last years bestselling books that were going to evolutionize the planet??" (Remember that HIT book, The Secret?? It made someone a shitload of money all the while passing on common sense packaged in a new age mantra as something evolutionary??)
I also asked...............why would I want to watch a movie on a 2 inch screen? I don't own a plasma TV either to watch the movie like in a theatre either and don't want one......so bigger in this regard is not better in my books.
Where is all this tossed out technology going anyways??
The portion of Planet Technology I really don't feel like I'm missing out on is the ever expanding section of GAMES. I can't even keep them straight in my head, even if I'm trying my best to discuss this stuff with my son. Xboxes, Playstations, Gamecubes, PSPs, Gameboys, DDRs, a Wii, consoles, controllers, interactive whatevers............I learned this morning that the term joystick is NEVER used. Thank God I learned that today, or it would've been VERY embarrassing if I was ever to walk into a GAME convention centre. As much as I try to understand the passion for this stuff and the lingo that goes with it, whenever I walk into one of those stores that carry just gaming paraphenalia, I feel like I have been teleported to Planet Technology without a map.
This is a problem since I have been trying to price Wii's and I don't have a frigging clue what it is I'm pricing or what I need to purchase so that all the parts are there.......... This experience is comparable to shopping for hunting gear. I have no clue about either hobby and I don't want to have a clue.
Though.......I'm interested why some are so interested in this stuff.
And yet....................I'm typing (did I just type the word typing??) on a laptop which I LOVE. I access the internet all the time, which I LOVE........I write on my blog religiously and with much pleasure..........I have a digital camera which goes with me wherever I go. However both pieces of technology are still quite foreign to me as I struggle to understand ALL that I can do with them. And I seem to always be screwing it up. I have yet to figure out how to fix my sidebar on this site without the help of my technologically intuitive family (notice ALL of my links to you people are gone?? I tried to change my template and LOST you all and haven't had a chance to figure out how to put you all back there again......)
My photos? I have so much to learn about how to download them properly and all that. My brother in law took a bunch off my doo-hickey thing in the camera where they are stashed and put them on a CD for me last spring.
Have I done anything with them? Noooooooooo...............
I am a neanderthal is some respects. I guess I'm not a gadget person, though I have some I rely on and love to use. However, you'd never in a million years catch me standing in line overnight waiting to buy the latest game system or music system. Actually, you'd never catch me standing in line over night to buy anything except perhaps front row seats to see Mr. Piano man if it included dinner for two........or at least a chance to invite him over for Thanksgiving. And if THAT happens, I promise I'll ask the person standing in line next to me to text you my news!!
In the meantime........I will be sort of trying to bridge the gap between my techie understanding and the enthusiasm others, including my family, have over some of it.
I don't really want to be completely left behind.
There wont be anyone around to talk to.