Climbing Out Of The Techie Rabbit Hole

I’m doing something I’ve never done before. I’m writing this column while in Starbucks, tapping out words on my cramped iPad keyboard. The reason I’m doing this is because I am attempting to simplify my gadgety life. Yes, simplify.

How, you ask, is this even close to simplification? The very fact that I’m using an iPad would seem to indicate that I have fallen down the techie rabbit hole. It’s true, I confess it. I’m in the hole and I can’t seem to climb out. It’s like an addiction – must have the newest phone, laptop, tablet and all of the paraphernalia available to junkies like me. But, dang, it’s an expensive obsession.

In taking stock of my toys, I decided that enough is enough. Does anyone really need all this stuff?

But, easier said than done. My laptop is old. It’s getting kind of creaky. What to do, what to do? Should I get another one? My tiny inner devil is whispering, “Yes! Yes!” After all, the little gremlin purrs, it’s five years old. Isn’t that, like, 80 in human years? The last time I brought it in for repair the tech took one look and practically sneered. I know he was sizing up my equipment – and me – mentally dismissing us as obsolete. Twin dinosaurs facing extinction in the scrap pile of computer history. So sad. So yesterday. So uncool.

But then my little inner angel starts tapping me sweetly on the forehead. “Why,” she whispers in a soothing voice, “why waste your hard-earned money? Your Mac is like Old Faithful. It still works. It’s been a loyal friend and doesn’t deserve to be thrown out like last season’s platform shoes.”

She’s got a point. My laptop’s been my friend, my office, my entertainment center, my constant companion. It’s not shiny and new, it’s not super-fast, but it works, except for one or two little things. Is there some geek law that says we must always be on the cutting edge of technology in order to feel good about ourselves? (“Yes!” grumps the devil. “No,” croons the angel.)

I think, this time, I’ll listen to the angel. Say no to the impulse buy. Say yes to common sense. Besides, I read online that tablets are going to eventually take the place of laptops. Maybe I can jump ahead of the trend. After all, we said goodbye to our old desktop computer years ago and we don’t miss it at all.

Anyway, that’s why I’m writing this column on my iPad. It’s a test. When the old Mac does finally die and goes to laptop heaven, can I survive without getting another one? On the one hand, of course I can. It does most of what the laptop does. But on the other hand, this keypad is awfully teeny. I’m having problems formatting the document. It only supports Safari, and I prefer Chrome. These are irritating little things.

But maybe I can adjust. Because I think I really need to climb out of the rabbit hole. It’s only stuff, after all. Stuff that’s supposed to make our lives simpler, but too often doesn’t.