Saturday, November 24, 2007

talk amongst yourselves........

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'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 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, 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 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.


OldOldLady Of The Hills said...

Lol, Lol...This is a GREAT Post! Michele sent me to say HI, to you, and to tell you...I am with you most of the way here....The technology is definitely passing me by....Like you, I do not have any of those intruments/gadgets that store a billion and one songs....And I not only LOVE to listen to music, I WRITE Music, too! My thought about this is: You cannot listen to a billion and one songs at once...So, what's the differenve? It is almost a sickness this---More More More, isn't it?
My cell phone is for emergencies onky...I don't even know the number....It is for the car, in case of whatever....! I don't really understand what happened to this society...What were all these people doing in the Market, On the Street, In a Restaurant---When we didn't have Cell Phones??? I understand how great it is o be able to get in touch with someone when you NEED to...But, it feels like the world is addicted to being on their Cell phones....WHEREVER they are!!!! No one wants to spend any time just being with themselves...Oh Dear!

I do not see the Beauty of watching a movie on a two inch screen, either. I LOVE Movies....And I watch a lot of them on my TV Set because I can no longer go to a Movie Theatre...BUT, I'm happy as a clam with my 32 inch set....It is just fine for me...maybe I will NEED to get a bigger screen as these old eyes need to see something bigger, but for now..This set is perfect, and has been for the last ten years or so!
I'm a little further ahead then you on Photographs---mostly because my motivation was and is very High! But there is lots of stuff I don't know how to do in this regard, too.

Soooo, ALL this is by way of saying to you:

moon said...

You are not alone for sure! I have to agree with everything u said...its gotten rediculous at best..but I guess we are slower about upgrading our brains to future gadget mode lol..and thats ok with me. I do enjoy some gadgets..but ones with logical purposes...for instance..a paper shredder lmao! I LOVE my paper shredder, I upgraded to one that cuts both ways when my other one finally died. Todays need to shred our personal info and all that. I do have a cell phone, but only use it the one day of week I pay a sitter to take over for me (I care for mentally handicapped adults that live with us) I LOVE my little electronic larousse dictionary, keep it near my pc, I can't spell right to save my own life. As for all the lingo out there about joysticks and games..omg let me tell u, I have that problem but in TWO languages! English AND isnt better then the other and I commit the Faux Pas' in BOTH lol.
Great post! I'm glad Michele sent me to read it, will be back again for sure!!

kenju said...

AMEN! AMEN! AMEN! I agree with almost all of this, especially the music in the ear stuff and constant cell phone use. I have a cell phone, but only 6-7 people have the number (members of my family and my boss). I don't want music in my ear all the time, and I would never play the new games.

Now my computer and my digital camera are a different story! I love them and I cannot imagine being without them!

Michele says hello.

Jodi Cleghorn said...

Good morning .... I really enjoyed your writing.

I too feel like a Luddite (though am firmly attached to my computer and wireless router for the internet) but that's really where it stops. I do have a new phone, but I have no idea how to use it most of the time meaning all the whizz fangled gadets on it are lost on me. who wants to listen to music on their phone anyway - its that just a little bit WEIRD??

I too had a walkman in the 80's and I loved it - but I never went beyond that. It appalls me to see all these people wandering around with music jammed into their ears. Isn't this an indicator of a huge slab of of population opting out of being part of our society. Can can't stop, smile and say hello to someone in the supermarket if they have music blaring. I find it incredibly antisocial

I considered an iPod or something similar - but like you, when I go for my morning walk - I want to hear and be part of the world around me.

I want to shield my son from the worst excesses of technology. I would like him to know a simpler life - one that's not instant - one where you have to wait for thing (like photos etc) I think it will make him a better person.

Ready made, instant, can't wait, want it now now now is warping us ... but that's my rant for the morning.

Thank you ever so much for sharing and reminding us that bigger, faster, smaller, newer etc is not better!

Jodi Cleghorn said...

OH and PS - here compliments of Michele :)

Barbara (aka Layla) said...


I Love Technology! I know about it but don't partake in too much of it personally. My techie must haves are an ipod, cellphone and laptop. That's it. Like you I prefer to listen to the sounds around me when I walk, but when I am at work I like to drown out my co-workers and work to music. I also listen to it in the car, and it is my steroe (I hook it up to speakers). As for the cell phone - I have a very basic model. Two Words as to why I love it: Teenage Boy. He may be out of site, but never out of cell range. As for the laptop....does it count?

I love you and the pic at the top of this post made my day!

Awareness said...

Naomi....good to know I'm not alone. As for the camera use? I too am very keen to learn more about it and will find the time to do so...........soon I hope. It just seems like I run out of steam by the end of the day. But, it most definately is a priority this winter to learn more about it.

Salut Moon......yes, to have to deal with this stuff in two languages would be doubly difficult. When I was writing this piece I thought about whether my aversion has to do with not growing up with all of it. It may a little bit, but some of it just doesn't fit with who I am too if that makes sense. thanks for visiting

Judy.....yes, my cellphone is for safety reasons when I am on the road doing home visits, and for my family to find me if they need me during the day. Apart from that, it is rarely used. Only a few people have the number...

Hi Jody....thank you....glad you liked it....hope I made you laugh. :) I feel the same way about the techie stuff for my kids. We don't have a lot of it around here.....and promote outdoor pursuits etc more which seems to work. They can get their fix if they need to at their friends houses, some of whom rarely leave the front of the TV. My son who rarely has a specific request for Christmas has been talking about this Wii system for months....I did see it being used and it seems a little more active and interactive, so we are considering buying one for Christmas. However, I may be out of luck......the darn things are sold out everywhere. are a genius on your sites........I have NO idea how to set up my blogsite in a more personalized way.....and like i said, when I tried to change the template I lost all of you!!

ps. Isn't that a hilarious pic? A friend sent it to me in an email yesterday. Wish my legs were that skinny!!

Rainbow dreams said...

lol Dana.. I get where you're coming from - there is just so much out there. I do love my ipod and miss not being able to have it in my new car - we can't afford to sort that at the moment - so the car is littered with cds as I take new ones out most days and forget to bring them back in..!
It would suit me brilliantly to have a combined ipod and phone.. not many people have my number but it is really handy and it got to a point where our son almost had to have one otherwise we wouldn't know where to collect him from school - they kept changing football venues without notifying us...
We did relent and let the grandparents buy a gamecube a few years back but it's played with so rarely it's not really an issue = we have far more fun outside playing and sometimes I have been known to almost beg them to come in and just rest in front of the tv or gamecube...!! The one thing that is a definite no in our house is tv in kids bedrooms... well that's yet!! :)

Awareness said...

Hi Katie.
My family looks at me with queer looks when I tell them I don't care for an Ipod....though I do understand where this love comes from......much more so than the game stuff. I probably would purchase one if I was commuting everyday, but for now I love the freedom I feel when I crank up the music in my van while driving the roads of New Brunswick on my own. It so much easier for me to put in a CD compilation than to be jigging around not knowing what I am doing trying to find the group of songs I want to hear on an Ipod. It must be the part of me that likes themes or something. I don't know.

We do have a gamecube here as well. It gets used mostly in the dead of winter when its too bloody cold to play road hockey or basketball outside...... I don't even know how to work it....not that I couldn't learn. I just don't want to.

Rainbow dreams said...

Am laughing - I don't know how to use it either...
ahh and my ipod is black and red and sexy...the U2 version - I fell in love and just had to have...
the others don't really do it for me ;)

Jane Poe (aka Deborah) said...

Planet Technology can be a very strange place - thank goodness I live with one of its original inhabitants, Geek Man, who can navigate the Milky Way of technogadgets with ease. I too am not a fan of MP3 players even though my husband & kids swear by them. I also want my music filling up the air, the house, the car! Great post, Dana! xx, JP/deb

Just Jen said...

As long as you can still use the keyboard and are able to keep writing on this little piece of technology, I'll keep visiting! GIGS....that was hilarious! As for the TV, I'm with ya on that one!

Neo said...

Awareness - Hahaha, reminds me of a stand up skit I saw George Carlin do about Technology awhile back. Funny stuff.

And hey I still use the term "Joystick!" Take it one gig at a time there eh?

Btw, I'll send you an email with some info on how to put your links back in your template for blogger.


- Neo

Awareness said...

Hey Deb.....kudos to Footpad! My family is a little farther down the techie food chain than I am, that's for sure.....and luckily my husband works with a few genius types when it comes to computer savvy stuff.....

Jen......glad you enjoyed it. Hope you visit often.

Neo.....i'm thinking that maybe your little town down river is a bit BEHIND in the lingo!! Be careful when you enter a Freddy Beach games store using that obsolete term. They may laugh at you and point!! :) Joystick! I always thought it was sexual.....sort of like the term palm pilot. Who the heck made that one up?? Some sexually repressed individual........or a person with a good sense of humour.

ps ..... thank you for the info...havent had a chance yet to apply it, but will try.....