This whole thing started over an iPhone.
It's that time again....time to upgrade. The ads are everywhere, people preach at you as if they're faithful followers of some iPhone religion. "You have to have it!" "It's AMAZING!" "I can't imagine not having one now that I've seen what it can do!" Why do people insist on shoving this advanced piece of technology at me? It's as if I will been seen as a disappointment if I refuse to spend an obscene (to me, anyway) amount of money on a piece of equipment that I will most likely lose, or that will be dropped into the toilet by my 1 year old.
I guess I'm what you would consider a baby as far as technology goes. We didn't get the internet at my house until I was a sophomore in high school (1999ish). The world wide web blew my mind. Before that, the only playing I did on a computer was Oregon Trail day in junior high school. But once I had a taste of chat rooms, email, online games, I was hooked. I do have to admit that I always seemed to be just a slight bit behind all of my friends. They had figured out chat rooms long before I even knew what one was.
Then came webcams. Now, the mere idea of this freaked me out. Strangers watching you doing.......what? Typing? Eating potato chips? Little did I know that there was an entirely different use for these little peep show products. I won't elaborate on that one.
As far as cell phones went, they were pretty much nonexistent at my high school. If you had any type of communication device, it was a beeper. And for the most part, the people with beepers were dawdling in some less than legal activities. The only people who had cell phones were the super-rich kids. The ones who carried Coach purses to school. (Only later in life -and by that I mean very early 20s - did I learn the wonderfulness of a ridiculously expensive handbag)
Only when I graduated high school and began an hour-long commute to college did the idea of me owning a cell phone even present itself. After an extremely tiring conversation with my parents about the responsibilities of taking care of a cell phone and paying the bill on time, I was given my very first cell phone. It was a Nokia 5110. The main purpose for me having said phone was in case of an emergency (flat tire, accident, kidnapped and locked in the trunk, etc). However, once my friends introduced me to the world of text messaging, I quickly learned that cell phones were much more useful than I had ever imagined.
From that point on, I kept a cell phone until it was broken. I recall tearing up two cell phones myself by dropping them into glasses of sweet tea. It didn't really matter back then what kind of phone you had. As long as you had a cell phone, you were in. Be honest, we all know what that means.
This technology, which began as a celebration of how far we've come, how advanced we were, started to change into something else..... enter pop culture.
All of a sudden no one was listening to good 'ol AM/FM radios anymore; satellite radio was the new thing. Laptops everywhere, bigger screens, lightweight, HD, Blu-ray, wireless, blah blah blah. Something new would come out, and the old stuff wasn't good enough anymore. Everyone just had to have the newest version of whatever piece of equipment the advertisers were shoving in our faces.
Welcome to iPod world: all of your music shoved into this teeny, tiny, miniscule product that could easily be lost if not for the earphones attached to it. I rebelled against the iPod, just as I had with satellite radio, HD and blu-ray (I did cave and acquire a laptop, which I love). Before I knew it my sisters, friends, even my DAD had iPods. They continuously insisted that I would be so much better off if I would just give in and purchase this wonderful thing. Nope, not me. I refused.
In all honesty, I truly had no interest whatsoever in having one. Could have cared less. Although, being a music lover, I had in my possession over 700 cds that were somewhat of a burden to carry around all the time. Still, I couldn't see myself keeping up with one of those things.
Despite my outspoken refusal on the subject, Gary bought me an iPod touch for Christmas this past year. I was apalled. Me? An iPod owner? Noooooo. I spent a good three weeks in protest before I finally gave in and began tinkering with the thing. Suddenly I found myself engrossed in the many wonderful features that this tiny piece of technology had. I copied every one of my cds onto the thing (which I was amazed at - how could it possible hold that many songs?). I put pictures on it. I downloaded books and games. I have to say though, that I felt justified in that the games I downloaded were designed to exercise the brain. I still have morals, after all.
So, having broken down and accepted that I, too, could be persuaded to actually like this advanced technology, the time came for the upgrade. My current cell phone is a Samsung Sync. I love it. The menus are easy to navigate, I can text well on it, I can always hear people I'm talking to, etc. It's a great phone. Sometimes, though, when I'm out in public and talking on my phone I get these looks. The looks I get are similar to looks of pity, like the one you would give a stray dog on the side of the road. It's as if they are all thinking, "Oh, poor thing, she's technologically retarded." I feel like the ugly duckling. All because of my not-top-of-the-line cell phone. Am I really so shallow? Do I actually care if people look down on me for the type of phone I have? Not so much, no. However, I do need to upgrade. Whether subconsciously I yearn to be socially accepted or I just really do want a new phone, I'm not sure.
After rambling on for the past few paragraphs, though, I think I have decided that I do not, in fact, want an iPhone. I'll settle for something less......fad-like.