In school I took a marketing class and I remember learning about how new technologies are accepted at different rates by different consumers. Innovators, early adopters, laggards etc. I know there were a few more in between, but I always identified with being a laggard. At the bottom of the scale were the Neo-Luddites. Now, I'm not out there burning looms or smashing plows, but I'll admit to being slow.
I don't have a cell phone and I don't want one. People are shocked when I say that I don't have one, and in polite company I just say I can't afford it, or don't think I need one, but the truth is, I just don't want one. People say, oh, you think you don't need it, but once you have it you can't live without it. I don't want to add to the list of things I can't live without. I feel like I've made it this far, and civilization has made it this far, surely I'll get by.
As a result of never having had a cell phone, I don't know how to use them, beyond occasionally using a friends. I dread having to learn to use all the features and figure out a dozen functions and crap. And I know that they are built to become obsolete, which I hate. If I buy something, I want it to last a long time. There are also the health risks, which I have read some scary things about, not least of which is how reluctant our government is to make these findings common knowledge.
I was the last person I know to accept that cassette tapes were dead. I do have an MP3 player, but I don't own an i-anything. I know how to do basic computer stuff, but I am very grateful that my job and daily life doesn't require hours on computer use. I don't Facebook. I don't Twitter. I'm honestly surprised that I blog... I bought a digital camera two years ago and have just in the last few months really learned how to use more that the most basic features. I do love my digital camera, but I stiff have two film cameras which I use for certain things. I am strongly against getting a new TV, much to Karl's disappointment, because the old one is fine. And it's a TV. It should not be a priority in our lives. I never got into playing video games. I've probably played a few hours of original Nintendo and Super Nintendo in my life, but it never really gripped me the way it did some kids. I've had a couple of Wii Sport sessions and can't really did it. It's a neat novelty, but something about interacting with a computer that way makes me kind of uncomfortable honestly. And I get bored after about five minutes. I'd much rather read a book or go play tennis for real.
I realize that all this makes me weird. I'm not doing it to be kooky or to make a point. I grew up in a house with no electricity, no real phone, two channels on an eight inch TV, no VCR, no video games, and I'd use that as a reason, except so did my brother and he's about the earliest adopter I know and is a computer programmer, so go figure. I totally admit that technology makes our lives better and easier in many ways. I guess my general outlook is that I'm fine the way I am, and if I don't know any different, then I don't know what I'm missing and therefore don't need to spend the money. But it's not about the money. So I guess it's really hard to explain. I'm just not in a big hurry to rush headlong into every new thing on the market.