We Joneses were not in the habit of "keeping up," per se. Trying to live a wee bit more frugally, we had not purchased a digital camera* (thanks to a hand-me-down that was working brilliantly), an ipod*, a DVR/Tivo*, and a number of other gadgets considered essential by most folk under 40. However, the year 2008 turned the tide.
The camera* was our Christmas gift at the end of 2007. Enjoyable to be able to record the most random or memorable moments. Now if I could just get all those photos backed up on the external hard drive* that's been in the package since September...
I started Jonesing for a DVR* after visiting Paul and Michelle's pad for Oscar night. I had heard of such things as pausing live TV and recording shows on a device other than a VCR (Free-vo!), but I hadn't EXPERIENCED the joy that is DVR*. Of all the devices we stumbled upon this year, DVR* has changed my life for the better. TV is now at my beck and call rather than my feeling tied to certain times when a fave show is on...and no more missing LOST because the VCR didn't comply with my wishes! Think what you might about my adoration for the DVR, it has freed up my time in a lot of ways. There is no love lost on the VCR that was a mostly faithful companion for 14 years.
The ipod* was the most suprising addition. It came free with the computer we got in the Fall, otherwise, I had few plans to add one to the family. I really thought it would change my life. Everyone I know has one. It seems to be the center of their universe at times. I always felt left out of discussions about downloading music and building playlists. Like I was the hairy, overweight uncool kid on the playground standing around picking my nose. (maybe I am!) An unfortunately busy Fall shattered my dream of ipod* glory. I have barely had time to add all those awesome songs I've been saving for a rainy day. I did manage to get a good Christmas playlist going, but aside from "Shelley's Holly Jolly," I haven't gotten my ipod* up to life-changing status yet. It's handy. But it ain't Jesus, you know?
Funny that the year AFTER the year of the gadget, I am yearning for simplicity. And after last night, when my fiddling with the wireless router for over two hours caused all manner of wireless confusion, I am STILL CRAVING simplicity. Gadgets never quite work for you the way they're supposed to. I will spend some time on the phone tonight with a NETGEAR representative explaining how I effectively cut off internet access to both computers, even though my cable modem is working brilliantly. I will be thinking of all the other things I could be doing. I will hopefully not cuss. I will try to wrap my NETGREAR customer service representative in the love of God. :) And I will never mess with my router again once it gets working.
Thus I march on, with a love-hate relationship with buttons, glowing lights, and microchips, fancy texting phones, bluetooths (teeths?), DVR, cable, internet, itunes, podcasts, and all adobe products. They don't define me, but they surely can try me and bring out a whole host of responses. Odd that gadgets play such a prominent role in our day-to-day.
Here's to 2009: The Year of Simplicity