With the advent of Google Buzz, I’m starting to get tired of all the rapid changes in technology and social media. If technology is going to progress so quickly, I’d like to be able to choose whether or not I can opt in or opt out of these changes. For instance, Google Buzz simply swooped in and gave its Gmail users Twitter-like abilities and public profiles without fair warning. Facebook has changed its image and added more features so many times that it’s becoming frustrating. What was wrong with the first 500 versions of the website?
Today’s phones don’t just take calls, but also videos, photos, hold music, store important documents, act as a GPS, balance your check book, and count your calories. Anything you’d want to do in your daily life, now there is a phone app for that. Remember when text messaging was a novel concept?!
It’s hard to keep up with all these changes, especially when I preferred some of the older models better than their newer counterpoints. I’m still adjusting to the fact that VHS tapes are out along with video rental stores like Blockbuster.
In honor of my favorite “oldies, but goodies,” here are 5 technologies that are fine just the way they are:
1) The boom box. Do you really need to bring your personal computer around with you to provide music at parties? The boom box did just fine. Plus it still plays your old mix tapes.
2) The overhead projector. Invented during the 1940s, this is hands down the best way to display information on a wall in front of large groups of people. No need to worry about memory stick problems or losing your connection to the internet during a presentation.
3) A physical book. No digital reader can ever replace the feeling of holding a book in your hands and feeling the pages between your fingers (and of course the new book smell).
4) The Nokia cell phone. I agree, we all need cell phones, but you can’t even use a touch screen with your winter gloves! Flip phones tend to snap in half eventually, but the Nokia can fly down a flight of stairs (and even survive a drop in the toilet) and still accept your calls and text messages.
5) The single air conditioner unit. Forget central air. I just want my bedroom to be cold. The noise these things make is soothing, especially if white noise helps you sleep. I don’t need my whole house to be cold all the time and I like how easy you can control the temperature on these things.
What are some of your favorite technological “oldies but goodies”?
i agree with some (though I love my iPod, less heavy than a boom box, and all my songs in one place? Still better than my old Walkman) of these. The window unit a/c is more than enough cooling machine for me; hell, half the time, except during the worst of summer, I still like my old box fan in the window method of cooling. Fresh air, can’t beat it.
I still have a fairly basic cell phone. I like the small portability of these, but I don’t want or need to be in touch with everyone all the time.
Plain old email. I don’t see how the Wave or Buzz is going to improve upon email for sharing information, and maybe I’m obtuse, or just not drinking the kool-aid, but I don’t see how these things are revolutionary.
I’m definitely with you on the book. Though to be fair, if I were or am ever going to get an eReader (and I will, eventually), it will need to be multiple functionality– video, music, books, etc. Maybe I should get a smart phone after all.
My biggest problem, though, ultimately, is the cost of all this “necessary” technology. So, what, I’m going to pay out that wazoo so I can be in contact with people 24/7 and they get mad when they can’t reach me?
That cabin in the woods with the fireplace is looking mighty good right now.
Vanessa, thanks for sharing your thoughts! You brought up a great point about cost. I didn’t even factor that in to my reflections on these new technologies, but the cost is even more aggravating! Even buying iPod headphones cost me 30 dollars.
I also believe that neither Google Buzz nor Wave are revolutionary and they don’t improve the quality of communication. If I want someone to know something, it’s easier to figure it out via email instead of posting it to the Buzz.
I don’t think I’ll ever get used to the eReader. Can’t focus unless I have the HARD copy.
Ditto on that cabin in the woods.
I just can’t see myself in bed, under layers of blankets, with an Ereader. I have to feel the book, and fall asleep with it in my hand. I know that it’s better than killing all the trees, but I grew up with actual books.
I guess the Ereader would save trees, but it is so much better to HOLD the book.
Hey, you sound like a fellow curmudgeon! But for an old lady, here are 5 technologies I can’t live without:
1. My mp3 player so I can hear my NPR podcasts when I have time, not when they are broadcast.
2. iTunes – so I don’t miss an NPR podcast, my subscriptions keep me up to date without effort
3. Facebook – despite it’s annoying change schedule, it’s still the fastest way to get information the the largest number of people quickly. In the case of my recent emergency surgery it saved me countless phone calls and repetitions of my health status.
4. Laptop – I scrapbook with friends at Starbucks, read my New York Times between classes, have all my resources handy and am no longer tied to my desk. If I need a change of scene, the library, cafe or park is now an option!
5. DVR – sure beats the piles of video tapes I used to have hanging around.
So… guess the lesson is to use what works for you!
I’m impressed, you are more technologically advanced than I am! I don’t even own a laptop anymore. Mine died five years ago and I never replaced it. I would like the freedom, though, to travel anywhere and still use my own personal computer.
I would agree, the lesson IS to use what works for you. I suppose it wouldn’t hurt to make a few of these newer technologies work for me.