Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Technology Overkill

As I strive to simplify my life, I was thinking of some of the things we do without. Then I started thinking of things we do have and also of some that I would like.

Here is a list of some of the things we “live without” in our home…
  • Scale (to weigh a person on)
  • Blender
  • Toaster
  • Cassette Tape Player
  • Coffee Maker
  • Cable TV
  • Satellite TV
  • Video Game System for TV
  • Telephone
  • Answering Machine
  • Television
  • VCR
  • Microwave
Many of these items are considered “necessities” of our times, and others have simply become outdated (tape players, for example). I delight in the absence of these things from our home, and often boast that we “don’t have a TV” (I especially boast about that one).

Some things that we do have - perhaps to an excess - are:
  • Toaster Oven
  • Mrs. Kitchen / Magic Bullet small blender
  • High-Speed Internet
  • 4 Computers (3 Laptops (2 personal, 1 work) & 1 Desktop)
  • 4 Handheld electronic games (2 Leapsters, & 2 (old) Gameboys)
  • 3 Cell Phones (2 personal, & 1 work), with Voice Mail
  • I-Pod Shuffle
  • 6 Sewing Machines (3 antique (1 treadle, 2 electric), 2 “regular” (1 for me, 1 for my son), & 1 serger)
  • 2 Scales (to weigh mail on)
  • 4 Digital Cameras (3 card-deck size (2 personal, & 1 work) & 1 video)
Sometimes I think that “one day”, I might like to have:
  • Headphones / Speakers with Volume control (for use with Laptop)
  • A Sewing Machine with a stitch-regulator for free-motion quilting
  • Popcorn Air Popper
  • Flat-Panel / Projection TV (something that will “disappear” behind a quilt on the wall)
  • “Nice” SLR Digital Camera

Technology can help us so much, but I think sometimes we forget that it’s purpose truly is to HELP us. A big thing I notice is how so many people feel compelled to answer a ringing phone... I say, answer it if it's convenient, if not, they'll leave a message / call back. Sometimes we become over-run by things. It reminds me of a scene from the movie “Sabrina” (with Harrison Ford). Linus Larabee tells Sabrina that he has a personal helicopter to “save time in traffic”. When she observes that he never stops to look out the window of his personal jet (he’s busy looking at work documents), he says he “doesn’t have time to look out the window”. Pointedly she queries “what happened to all that time you saved on the helicopter?” We rush, rush, rush. Sometimes, I think it’s good to purge things from our lives; to reevaluate their usefulness, or how much they hinder us.

What are some things that you don’t have which others seem to consider necessary? What are some of the things that you “can’t live without”? What items do you think about acquiring?

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