Saturday, December 29, 2007

Technological/generational gaps

Im starting to wonder if I've become older than I previously thought. I just got my first MP3 player for Christmas this year. I almost expected a "Welcome to 1998 Brian!" note to be attached to it. Even though it's taken me ten years to fully enjoy a technological gadget, at least I know how to use it. I watched my in-laws get a navigational GPS system as a gift from my sister-in-law. Their eyes seemed to just glaze over as she was explaining how simple the touch screen is to use.

I shouldn't paint all older folks as having technophobia . My 63-year old father is further ahead the learning curve on the internet than I am. Then again, the internet is a place where you can find things for cheap or free, so for him to miss out on such things would be uncharacteristic. I'm constantly getting links on where I can get services or stuff for free from him. He really should be the one with a blog as he's an expert on finding the best deals on the web. I bet he would have thousands of hits a day if he were to put something like that together.

I guess part of my reluctance on some technologies is wondering whether they'll become obsolete or better after a few scant years. I'm still waiting for the dust of the high-def DVD player war to settle before I take a plunge on buying either Blue-ray or HD DVD. Not only that, but part of me wants to wait to see if bugs can get worked out and costs drop. (hoping for a cheaper and better iphone in 2 years...) When I was younger I had the gotta get it now impulse. Nowadays, I am much more patient.

Maybe, the older we get, the more we get used to doing things a certain way. I know my father-in-law loves to read maps, so I'm sure a little computer telling him to make a turn in 1 mile seems foreign to him. I guess if they could change the GPS voice to sound like my mother-in-law nagging him that he's going the wrong way he'd feel a little more at home with it.


Paul said...

I think what happens is that when a new gadget comes out, you say to yourself, well, I've managed fine for x years without that, I don't need it. You simply become much more selective in the technology you adopt.

It depends on your perception of needs--I've had an MP3 player for a while now, but I mostly use it for working out. The portable CD player was bulky and skipped a lot, so the new technology really did improve my life. On the other hand, since I hate phones anyway, I see no real need to get a cell phone.

I don't see how a GPS will improve my life, as I like scenic detours. On the other hand, I like satellite radio.

Chris said...

what'd you get?!