Me? A Mindless Techno-Slave?
by Kelvin Wade
Sometimes I catch myself laughing at my 14 year old granddaughter and the fact that she’s a slave to convention. One of the funniest things about teenagers is how much they talk a big game about being an individual and having their own style while being sure to follow every trend.
But there are disturbing indications that I might be a slave to coolness myself. I’ve always loved technology. I love newer and better hardware. Growing up, my mother used to say, “You’re never satisfied.” And? I could never see her point.
When the Apple iPod first came out, it revolutionized music. The commercials showing people dancing to this tiny device with the white earbuds just made you want to get one. But, at the time, my budget only allowed me to get a no name MP3 player that looked like a chrome whistle. Walking around with it, I didn’t feel cool. I felt like a coach.
No longer able to withstand the hit to my ego, I got a 30GB iPod. Within a few months, I had an 80GB iPod. And everywhere I went, you better believe those white earbud cords dangling from my ears were spreading the gospel of my coolness.
When the Motorola Razr came out, it was the hottest phone anywhere. The magic was suddenly gone between my little Nokia and me. We’d grown apart. Or maybe I was just seduced by the sexiness of the chrome Razr, which looked like something out of Star Wars. When I got one, I had to make sure everyone saw me with it.
Then the Apple iPhone dropped and it was like a cellular earthquake. Within six months I had one and I had to let everyone know it. Sitting in Starbucks with a coffee drink that took two sentences to order, I slowly pondered new apps from the App Store to download.
When my contract with AT&T was up I did the unthinkable; I switched to a Blackberry. While the iPhone announces you as a cool, artistic innovator, a Blackberry says you’re a sophisticated businessman. The beauty was I could carry both in public and double up on my coolness.
The Apple iPad caused a tsunami in the gadget world when it debuted. It wasn’t in my budget. But I knew that owning such a hot, versatile electronic device would not only provide me with hours of pleasure, it would once again announce my status to the world, as an early adopter. But I resisted (mainly due to the price tag) because the second-generation iPad was bound to have more of the features I desired.
Just to satisfy my craving for some new technology and adding to my coolness factor, I bought a 4th generation Apple iPod Touch. At Christmas, when I whipped out the device that enabled my brothers and me to chat with our younger brother in Canada via Face Time, I once again burnished my cool cred. Ta-dow!
Now, more tablets are hitting the market. Samsung has the Galaxy Tab. HP has their own tablet. Blackberry even has a tablet. And during the Super Bowl, an ad ran for something called the Motorola Xoom. But while some of these tablets might be cheaper or even more innovative than an Apple iPad, I remember the chrome whistle MP3 player.
It can only be an Apple iPad for me.
Meanwhile, I chortle at my granddaughter having to have a new pair of shoes to show off her style. Ha! When will she learn? Is she never satisfied?