My husband and I have an iPad and I love mine, but it's the first gadgety thing I've had, that I've taken an interest in. I wonder if my lack of enthusiasm over gadgets is something that happens when you get older, a woman thing, or just me?
Actually, it's probably me. I'm not a technophobe, I'm quite capable of using a computer – I need to for my writing - but I really don't see the point of some of these contraptions. I recently went to buy a new mobile phone. My current one was so ancient it had packed up. If it was totally up to me, I wouldn't bother; but hubby thinks I should have one in case of emergencies. Except that, when he tries to ring me on it, I haven't even switched it on!
And technical advances sometimes don't keep up with themselves!
The mobile phone companies certainly don't make any money out of me that's for sure. I have 'pay as you go' and put ten pounds on it about once every four months. I'm not one of the contract phone brigade; desperate to upgrade as soon as a new model comes out. Anyway, we went to get this new phone. We tried all the mobile phone shops, but could I find one I liked.
I just wanted a simple phone. Not one with a camera, or with the internet and games. Just a phone; and not an expensive one either. A young lad in the first shop showed me all these super-duper phones, which I am sure were very good once you'd got the hang of them, but I shook my head and asked, 'Haven't you got one which is just a phone?'
The answer was – no.
The next shop wasn't any better. When I stated again that all I wanted was a phone, and not a camera or all the other bits that went with it, the salesperson looked at me as if I was mad. He then showed me a flashy expensive looking model. 'But you can take really great photos with this one.' 'What do I want to do that for? It's to make calls and send texts. If I want to take photos, I'll use a camera,' I said. 'Well, you can go on the internet too.' 'But if I want to do that, I'll use my ipad or laptop at home,' I said, by now geting a bit annoyed. 'Ah, but this does all those things in one nifty little package.' 'I DON'T WANT ALL THOSE THINGS, I JUST WANT A PHONE!'
I got so frustrated that I walked out of the shop, leaving the salesperson looking somewhat perplexed. I am sure he thought he was offering me something wonderful, and couldn't understand why I got so uppity.
When gadgets were more 'defined'
We have a friend, who is the master of gadgets. Whenever something new comes out, he just has to have it. He's got a super thin mobile phone that does everything you can think of, a PDA, a flashy digital camera, an e-reader, a galaxy tablet, a huge television and all the gadgets to go with it; a new tiny home cinema surround thingummy that you can plug your computer into, and this smart watch that I'm sure if he pressed a certain button would beam him up to the Starship Enterprise! You name it, he's got it. I have no idea what most of the stuff he's bought is, or what it does.
His poor wife doesn't know how to work any of it. She can't just turn the TV on any more, you have to switch on something else first, then change the screen, then turn on another box thing, so she just goes upstairs and leaves him to play with his toys.
Maybe it's a man thing? Although my hubby isn't totally gadget mad, so maybe not.
I'm sure our friend isn't the only one, there must be thousands of people buying these gizmos, and making the companies who manufacture them, pots of money. The trouble is, it never stops. Just when you've bought the latest gadget, the company updates or improves it, and brings out another 'better' model.
We don't have many technical things. We have a normal sized TV, and a box thing that hubby uses to record programmes on - I have no idea how to work it – we have our iPads, and we've got a digital camera, but it's a bog standard old one.
Yes, I know that without gadgets, we would still be doing things like washing clothes by hand or cooking over an open fire, and yes, some gadgets do make our lives a lot easier, but I think you can go over the top. The way technology advances so quickly nowadays, I dread to think what life will be like in years to come.
Will we have robots doing all the household chores? They are already vacuuming, we'll have humanoid ones doing everything else for us soon. Will cars drive themselves? Actually, ignore that, they almost do now! And, maybe we won't need to use skype, or whatever it is that people use to chat with long distance friends and relatives. Maybe they'll be able to holographically appear in front of you. The mind boggles!
A simple, straightforward phone-hurrah!
I did eventually manage to find a mobile phone by the way, which was just a phone. It was an old Nokia and cost me £20. I am very pleased with it as it does exactly what I want, when I remember to switch it on that is!