Thursday, February 24, 2011

Gadget Lovers!

My husband and I love gadgets!  Probably, me more than him.  I don't know why.  We don't lead extremely busy lives.  We're both retired.  We like being retired.

I like to "fidget" with things.  To see what I can make them do, to "outsmart" them (this seldom happens).  To see what they can't do.  I like knowing that I can work them, even if I don't need them.  Yes, I know, that's crazy.

Let's see, we have two desktop computers, an iPad, a Wii, a Blu-ray player, a portable DVD player, and a Nintendo DS game player.  I have a cell phone, a Honda UV with a Navigation System and a rear-view camera and a brand new Nikon D3100 Digital Camera.  We also have one of those digital picture frames, but I can't find it since our last move.

Ok.  The facts.  We use the desktop computers every day.  My husband uses the iPad every day.  I don't remember the last time he used the portable DVD player.  We use the Blu-ray player for DVD movies and to download movies from the internet.  We also use the Wii to play games when the grandkids are here and to download movies from the internet.  I have never used the Nintendo DS game player, but my husband uses it to keep his brain busy at times.  I do love and use my Navigation System, and the rear-view camera comes in real handy for backing up in a crowded parking lot.  I've spent several hours watching the DVD that came with my Nikon camera trying to learn how to use it.  I've only used "point-and-shoot" cameras before.  I know I'm going to love it, just as soon as I learn how to use it.

I can't wait until the automobiles that park themselves are sold in my price range.  By then, they'll probably drive themselves too.  I would love to have the built-in DVD players for the backseat of my UV, but no one ever sits back there but my English bulldog, Hannah, and she only watches TV.  Oh, yes, we have fold-down steps for her to get in and out of my UV because she's anatomically unable to do so without steps and we are too old to lift her.  I'm waiting for a portable escalator to come along any day now.  Wouldn't it be great if it could be built right in to the back of the car?  Maybe where the spare tire is kept?

I'll never purchase a Kindle or anything like that for reading.  I love the feel of a book in my hands.  I love to read, to underline, to highlight and read again.  I am running out of book shelves, but the library always needs donations.

Email is great, but it's such a thrill to get a handwritten, or even computer written, letter in the mail.  A "Thank You" note that is handwritten means so much more than a digital one.  Yes, I'm guilty.  To save time, I send those e-cards too, but every time I do, I feel a tug internally.  I know that a "thank you" or a "get well" or "happy birthday" card takes looking for just the right card, writing your name in the card, buying a stamp and putting the card in the mail box.  All of that takes time and effort.  It also takes "caring".

Yes, there is a balance.  We need a balance in our lives of gadgets and heart.  A gadget may do it faster, but not always better.  A gadget may engage my mind, but not my soul.  A gadget may save me time, but what am I using that time to do? 

Perhaps more heart and fewer gadgets are needed here?  That just feels right. 

Oh, yes.  Gadgets don't "feel" either.

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