I don’t have an iPhone. Or an iPad. Or even any of the one-thousand-and-one other similar electronic gadgets that have become, like a Starbucks large/grand/venti, a common fixture on my fellow Vancouverites.
But not for lack of trying. The media players, PIMs, gaming consoles and cellphones gathering dust in my home are testament and chronicle to the various failed attempts over the course of many years to ingratiate myself to their much commercialized hedonistic potential. The honeymoon phase fades quickly.
Don’t get me wrong. I don’t hate Apple; I’d much prefer working on Macs to PCs. I’m not an Information Age Luddite. But up until two years ago, you could even leave the “personal” label out of my computer (juxtapose this against the very young who already have their own laptops or smartphones before entering Grade 4). Ironic when you consider that I have been quite tech savvy for most of my life, and am perennially curious about emerging technologies . Tell me about Angry Birds, and I am more likely to make the crack that an anger management course might be appropriate for these cranky avians than I am to play a game of it.
Part of this adoption atrophy stems from past disappointments in technologies when they fail to perform. Or giving new technologies more credit and higher expectations than they probably deserve.
Further self-examination reveals a subconscious desire to be different: I can’t be me if I follow the “me, too” idiom. But there’s also the other, more conscious desire to embrace the ability to disconnect from the larger society. I don’t want to be available 24/7. My cellphone lacks a smartphone pedigree, is at least four iPhone generations old, doesn’t know the meaning of texting, isn’t on unless I’m calling out or expecting an incoming call in the next minute, gets charged more often than it’s actually used because I’ve forgotten to power it off, and incurs moments of separation anxiety when I think that maybe, just maybe, it’s time to upgrade to a smartphone and the myriad of new features that I will probably never use–unless it’s by accident.
I like my off time and retreats from civilization. I enjoy my sunsets and sunrises. I love thunderstorms. Heavy downpours are a particular treat, even in the summer time. I like walks through old growth forests. Biking and birding on the backroads. None of those activities will ever require me to call up customer service and patiently await redress.
The best things in life are free. And contract-free.
Or maybe I just take pride in my personal technological obsolescence. (^_-)