Monday, July 26, 2010
My Story of Stuff
Right now the distance between me and "cutting edge" is about as big as it has ever been in relative, 2010 terms. After all, I amused myself driving cross-country by listening to cassette tapes on the stereo in my 1998 car - only the third car I've ever owned - stopped to take pictures with my 2005 camera - the first digital I ever purchased - and wondered why I wasn't picking up a signal on the very basic, 100-minutes-a-month mobile phone I got for free from Virgin Mobile. I don't own an "i" anything.
It's not that I'm bad with tech stuff, or afraid of it. Just cautious, and kind of a skinflint. My conservative habits help me keep on my slender budget, and save me grey cells to use keeping up on other things that are more important to me. And being on sabbatical, trying to live a quieter, more balanced life, I opted to defer the stress related to making unnecessary decisions or changes. (See my post on life, change, and stress).
Yet now as we come to an end of the sabbatical, I anticipate working alone and from my home for at least a season. I'm wondering if a giant leap forward, tech-wise, is in my future.
I did already do this one thing: I talked to my roommate about setting up a wireless network in the house. Can you believe I've gone this long without one? For a long time I could pick up signals in the neighborhood - no longer - or occasionally borrow the roommate's little plug-in modem. Mostly, though, I took my laptop to the library or a series of nearby coffee shops.
Frankly, this was a way to keep some boundaries in my life. The thought of being able to do anything on the internet anytime I wanted - to live a complex, social life without getting out of my pajamas - didn't sound too healthy to me. I wasn't sure I could be trusted.
But I told Deb I wanted to give it a try. She did the research and made the leap. We're all hooked up. So when I get home, I'll have high-speed access to anything and everything. I'll be able to blow off the dust on my seldom-used Skype equipment.
And, I suppose, I'll want to set some new boundaries to keep me from abusing that and spending too much time in front of a screen.
Here are some essay questions for you, dear reader:
Thinking about the tech changes and purchases you've made in the last five years...
1. Which changed your life the most?
2. Which had the most positive effects?
3. What negative effects did you experience, and how did you compensate for or contain them?
3. Are there any tech upgrades that were really a waste of money or that you regret?