I really like most of the goodies and gadgets within our increasingly high-tech world. I confess, if I were a rich guy with an excessive amount of time on my hands, I’d probably buy certainly one of each and spend so many hours of my life having fun with them. But deep within my heart and soul, I also confess that I’m glad I cannot afford a full length of such, well–time wasters.

A recent “Zits” comic strip within our local newspaper really worked for me personally because it put most of the risks and rewards of high-tech personal communication in sharp perspective. If you know the main characters in that comic strip, they are a middle-aged mom and dad using their teenage son acupuncture pen. This kind of bout of the strip had the son showing dad the most recent “super phone” gadget. He described the multitude of things the phone could do all at once–Internet, phone, texting, mobile television, etc. The teen’s closing comment went something such as this: “With one of these, you wouldn’t be out of touch or unconnected for just one minute of your life.”

The final panel in the comic strip showed dad along with his back turned, flinging the phone far to the sky.

My phones (both the “land line” and the cell I use) simply make phone calls. I’m not sure, but I believe once we got our cell phone service I asked them to turn fully off the text messaging feature on the account. I not only want to prevent accidentally texting, I don’t want to pile up any fees proper texting me.

My television, I use to watch television. Well, OK, we’ve a satellite dish plan that includes a huge amount of music channels. Sometimes (like today, as I write this), I turn the TV to some of those digital music channels and enjoy beautiful jazz or classical music as my fingers trip and stumble across the keyboard. And I even tune in to the radio and play occasional music (jazz, mostly) CDs on our just-above-the-boombox-level stereo. (One of today I’m going to have ambitious and use our turntable to turn all of those vinyl albums we’ve from the 1960s into mp3 files. When I’ve the courage and time to figure that all out.)

Oh, sure, I’ve got a notebook computer. I even have a very old relic of a really slow desktop having an outmoded, tiny hard disk gathering dust on a large part desk.

But also for the most part, my phones simply do phone calls. My Net connection, when I go online with the laptop, takes me where I wish to go and gets me there when I need to get there. None of my high-tech gadgets can be as shiny and new as others, however they do what I want them to do–when I want them to do so, not every minute of my waking life.

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