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I really, truly thought I had largely overcome my lust for ‘lectronics, my salacity for software, my greed for gadgets. I decided that as fascinating and alluring as they are, I would own my objects and not let them own me.

This thinking was tested again when I recently tried out Verizon’s Navigator, a GPS-like service for your cell phone, and decided I wouldn’t “need” a GPS after all. Not only that but I’d be getting a new phone soon since my “new (phone) every 2 (years)” was due.

Getting the new cell phone with GPS would solve some practical problems (taking circuitous routes, getting another device to figure out and lug around, need for a cell phone), it wouldn’t cost a lot, and would be a new toy to play with. So I got it, committing myself to another 2 years with Verizon in the process.

Then…I saw my colleague’s i-Phone in action and a friend of the Man also showed me his (phone, you perv). Suddenly I “had to have” Verizon’s version of the i-Phone (since I’d just re-upped with them).

Suddenly my cool, new large screen, speakered, mp3-playable, QWERTY keyboarded, expandable memory card-able phone just didn’t seem sufficient.

Gadget envy set in in a big way and what I had just gotten wasn’t enough…ironic since my phone is the enV (pronounced “envy”) model.

So I tried finding another phone within my plan that was “better” and that I could justify and afford getting. But short of the i-Phone wannabe that cost way more than I could rationalize, this was the best phone I could get in my plan.

Acceptance…so I ordered a memory card for it as my consolation prize. The memory card stores music on your phone. Even though I don’t really even use my mp3 players.

But I figured I can also use the card for the phone’s 2 megapixel camera (with flash!) even if I don’t use it for music. I don’t use my real camera as much as I would like, either, but maybe if I had one with me all the time…It’s a lot easier to justify spending $17. than it is (at least) $400!

But if I had acted on this barely-contained lust and had no willpower I’d have

  • a great stereo that was hooked up to a high-end flat screen tv, which had cable and connected to my large-capacity Tivo
  • an iPhone (that didn’t take all year to figure out) onto which I had (easily) transferred my mp3s (that I actually played) and Verizon Navigator (which would negate the “need” for a GPS), a free data plan so I could afford to text , check email, surf at will, and had a normal ringer that I didn’t have to download and spend 4 hours configuring
  • a D-SLR camera that was so incredibly usable that I would remember aperture settings vs. speed settings and not get bogged down by the math, and it’d have a supermicro lens and a fisheye lens so I could try every conceivable type of photographic technique.
  • a wireless printer (or a wireless card for my current one—I like it just fine)
  • I’d suck it up and buy the damn ScanSnap S510 even though I already have a scanner on my printer, because the ScanSnap S510 has an automatic document feeder that can scan duplex and would make all those piles of paper and receipts into a paperless, organized, searchable-PDF wonderland of filed-yet-accessible documents, and would organize my life once and for all.
  • I’d have wireless speakers installed throughout the house so I can listen to NPR from ONE source, instead of turning on the radio in every room I go into.
  • My kitchen, despite having wireless speakers, would have an under-the-counter tv/radio/cd player that tucked away conveniently when not in use.
  • I’d have a flat panel tv in the bathroom too (hidden by a painting I could slide up when I needed the tv) over my fireplace in there. Near my wireless speakers in case I wanted to listen to the radio or music in the morning.

I don’t want to sound greedy so I’ll stop there.

You know, I really thought I was rockin’ when a former boyfriend installed a garage door opener and I didn’t have to get out of the car to put my car away. Then it was when I had a car that beeped when I left the lights on and electric windows and cruise control and a cd player.

I see now that this was just another part of my spiral into gadget whoredom, my never-ending craving for the new, the now, the wonder of “how do I conquer this device?,” the pleasure of the newness of it all.

It’s hard to be a geek in today’s world—so much to lust for, so knowing you’ll never have the fastest, the best, most ideal device, if this mythical device even exists…If I had all that stuff, I wouldn’t own my devices, though. They would own me.

It’s humbling to know that unless you want a huge credit card bill and a pile-o-devices you either don’t use, don’t have time to figure them all out or spend all your time troubleshooting that you have to know when enough is enough.

I think it’s also known as maturity or self-control or something.

 

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