Friday, May 29, 2009

Life in the Slow Lane

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.

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