Thursday, May 27, 2010

The View from Behind

    Yesterday I was giving Mike-a-licious a hard time because today he is out getting a Droid.  And he was all excited.  I was making jokes about jumping the bandwagon and that kind of thing.  I mean, half of it is because I like to give a hard time to my friends, but still that wasn't needed.  So I guess that this will serve as my public apology.  But I think the most of the reason that I was giving him a hard time is because I don't generally subscribe to the idea that everyone needs the latest technology.  In fact, I am about 5-10 years behind.
     It's true.  I am not 30 years behind the times like the Town That Time Forgot, but I am a good 7-ish.  I have had the same cell phone and computer for like 5 years, which is approaching an eternity in that time, I was one of the last people in the First World to purchase a tube TV new from the store, I have a kickass city going on Sim City for Super NES, I can't wait to see if the Buccaneers can repeat as Super Bowl Champs, and I hate to admit it but I am really enjoying this new Finding Nemo movie.
    It's not that I don't have an appreciation for new technology, and the amazing things that it allows us to do and the wonderful advances that have come about.  I am just afraid of change maybe.  No, that's not it.  I just always see it, and it's always neat, but I can never see a NEED for it.  Droid is great, but I can't see the NEED for it.  That being said, I said the same thing about cell phones as all my friends got one.  And I said the same thing as I was in shopping for one of my own.  And once I had it I didn't see that I needed it, it was just nice insurance to have as I drove through snowy weather at 2 AM.  I still kept my land line, and my cell phone was rarely turned on.  Now it's my only phone.
      I gave a speech at my high school graduation about how we were the class, the generation, that would be charged with bridging the gap between the new and the old.  I remember saying that we would be standing with one foot planted firmly in the past and one foot striding confidently into the future or some bullshit like that.  You know, the usual high school graduation speed type of stuff.  But I always thought it was true.  When I was a kid, there were computers in every office but there was a typewriter too, and most stuff was still done on a typewriter.  You could still buy record player needles.  My dad had a truck that was not that old that had an 8-track player, and my buddy had a rotary dial phone in his basement.
    The point here, Company, and I promise there is a point, is that I distictly remember a time when phones made phone calls and they were all connected to a cord, and that was okay.  It worked great.  I remember when the only thing the computers at school did was Oregon Trail and Paint, and they wouldn't let us wear those metal snap bracelets in the computer lab because they thought they would screw up the hard drives.    I understand and have experienced that you can live a pretty good, comfortable, and safe life without having to be able to stream movie trailers directly to your phone at any time, or unlocking your car in San Francisco from your phone in New York City, or without having to plant chips in your pets to be able to track them as they run around, or to be able to order just about anything from anywhere in the world with little beyond a valid credit card number.  Hell, I remember when credit cards had to be impressed onto a cabon paper for them to be legit with that special little machine.  And everyone got along just fine. 
      Sometimes I am not the one confidently standing with one foot in the past and one striding into the future.  Sometimes I am not bridging the gap, I am standing timidly with both feet on the grassy plain of the past, where I am comfortable and I know what is going on, and I am staring across the gap muttering that the jungle on the other side looks pretty scary.  I have to get prodded to the other side by peer pressure and the march of time and technology. 
      So I guess that maybe I am hypocrite when it comes to the stuff, because I blog and I podcast and I tweet and yes I have a cell phone and yes I have this and that, and I guess that is how it has to be.  Because I will admit that I have jumped whole heartedly onto more bandwagons that I can count in my day.  In fact, as Mike-a-licious and Six were kind enough to point out, that is probably how I injured my leg.  I guess that despite it all sometimes the new stuff is just cool and that in itself if enough of a reason to jump into it.  Bandwagon or not.

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