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Kennesaw Mom: Gidgets and Gadgets

I can't seem to keep up with the latest technologies and upgrades, and I'm not entirely convinced that's a bad thing.

As lackadaisical as it may sound, I make an honest effort not to educate myself on the latest and greatest technology. It is not my profession nor can I afford it, so why torture myself with everything I can’t have?

Though I try my best to filter the next new thing, it invades my home on the heels of my children. They seem to have an innate ability to have first-hand knowledge of the newest technology the nano-second it is born.

I must admit, I came into the 21st century kicking and screaming. Life seemed much simpler way back in the 1900s when I didn’t have to decide between a Kindle and a Nook. Things were easier when I wasn’t trying to figure out the difference between an iPod and an iPad. iSad!

Having expressed that, let me say I have come to recognize the convenience of modern technology. No one has to twist my arm to rely on it daily—maybe not as much as the next guy, but surely enough to call myself a "casual user."

Who among us has not called our spouse on their cell phone while they were at the grocery store on a late night milk run? Don’t forget the eggs, and add ice cream to the list!

For many years, prior to the cell phone, I enjoyed having my husband paged over the loudspeaker in the store. I would often ask for him with names like Dr. Zhivago or Elmer Fudd. Somehow, my hubby always managed to figure out my deluded code and would make his way to the courtesy booth with his dignity intact. “Hello, this is Dr. Zhivago.” I’m sure this facade gave the late night clerk a snicker. It was always fun for me, as long as I got my ice cream!

I suppose the biggest issues I have in this era of gadgetry are the continual upgrades. It seems to me the moment you make a purchase, your latest and greatest gizmo becomes obsolete. Your gadget is displaced by something faster, lighter and with better memory, not to mention a higher price tag. Frequently, the latest items are not compatible with those you previously purchased. They don’t talk to each other. Heck, we don’t talk to each other. We text each other. IMHO.  

We have survived for centuries without these digital appendages. While they are great in emergency, I think we have become too dependent on our gadgets. We apparently cannot even be self-disciplined enough to control our texting while driving without some sort of new legislation. Why bother teaching our kids which way the sun sets or the cardinal directions? Who needs a compass when they are growing up in a GPS world?

Nobody forces us to buy this stuff. We want it, and we have to have it. We stand in lines for it. We are conditioned to need it through media blitzes and high-dollar ad campaigns. Moreover, I believe the message we are sending to our children is they can’t live without it. And who knows, maybe they can’t. Our world has evolved to the point where silicon chips are woven into the very fabric of our society.  

My youngest son does not have a cell phone yet, but he knew all the capabilities of 4G the day it was introduced. He also seems to be much more interested in upgrading his DSI to a 3DS than finishing his homework.

I have it on good authority that Santa will not be bringing any iPads to our house, though I am sure we would make use of them if one fell off his sleigh. Our greatest use of technology usually involves a Swiss Army knife and a roll of duct tape.

This year, in spite of Park Avenue, I’m keeping Christmas simple—a few holiday classics, some caroling, a bit of baking and time spent with my family. Enjoy your gadgets, but don’t forget to remember what’s important. CWYL.              

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