Temptation of Technology

As I waited in the Verizon store for the young man to set up my replacement phone (yes my phone taken on Wednesday – another story), he mentioned a sale on tablets. For one second my heart sort of leaped and then settled down. I shook my head.
I have a Kindle Fire, a laptop, a smart phone and a smart TV. I can barely use any of them. I learn daily. I live with the manuals. I don’t need another tech item sitting in a charger each night.

Every one who has a tablet loves them. iPad, Galaxy —. I looked at the Microsoft tablet a year ago and seriously considered. My son, Mike, loves his Nexus!
 It was tempting for about a minute, but I caught myself before I could even ask “how much”. Would I use it? I would try. How often? For what? I don’t even have a DVR on my cable network – the last person (white, middle-class) who doesn’t. The cable company is also having a sale right now, and it’s probably time. It’s great to be able to choose when you want to watch TV and to tape a show you will miss without it. Or so they tell me.
But- I sort of enjoy looking forward to watching The Voice on Monday and Tuesday night and my Wednesday sitcoms – The Middle and Modern Family. My daughter and I text back and forth – What is she wearing? What a horrible song choice. Man, he is good!
Last year Sunday evenings meant Downton Abby on PBS and Hell on Wheels on AMC. My son and I bet on whether or not one of the main characters really died in the car crash at the end of the season. Part of the enjoyment for me is the anticipation. Turn off the phone, grab a snack, curl onto the couch.
Would the shows be less entertaining if I could simply push a button and watch one or two episodes whenever I wanted? Would it just be tempting to watch even more TV? Of course it never fails. Seven o’clock on the dot, friends and family seem to always call! Then I have to choose – guilt if I ignore the call; irritation if I take the call and listen distractedly with the show rolling in my peripheral vision!
Most of this new technology allows us to look at a screen non-stop for hours. Netflix, you tube, cable TV, movies and games. Instead of what? I ask. Well – a walk outside in nature, neighbors, phone calls, visits, even socializing in the aisles of the Walgreen’s on the corner. Hiking, playing a board game. Reading! – ah, my favorite past time.
No, I don’t need a tablet, thank you. Not this year. Now the DVR? I’ll have to consider that one. I’m rather tired of the guilt I endure each week.

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