Sunday, September 11, 2016

Smart Guy

There's a new iPhone coming out. I think this is the iPhone 674, making it the six hundred and seventy-third time that there were lines around the block for a new iPhone. There were probably lines for the first iteration, but that rabid must-have-at-any-cost sensation didn't exist way back then. It was, after all, an iPod on which you could make phone calls.
I kid, because I'm a kidder, and because I don't own one. None of the ever-escalating versions of this smart phone. Not the one that came in champagne gold. Not the one that comes in piano black. I do own an iPod. It has served me well for technological generations, which could mean months in the Apple world. I appreciate its design and the features it offers. It plays music that I put on it and in a pinch it can play FM radio bands. The screen is small, so I don't watch videos on it, but I have heard stories about people who do. Later versions of this same machine would allow me to do just that with the ease of a screen that is a fraction of an inch wider than the square that I glance at now when I am searching for a song.
The iPod I have now suits my needs in very practical ways, and I shiver at the notion that I might someday need to replace it. Since it is of a certain vintage, it is now a collector's item, and the somewhat substantial price that I once paid for this little square music box would new require me to pay collector's prices to renew my fixation. My son, who is as tech savvy as I ever would want to be, uses his phone as his everything device. It's not an Apple product, nor is it the most recent version of any of the available non-Apple clever phones. As his life tends to revolve around the words and images that come to him through that machine, He didn't buy it because it came in decorator colors or because it had a bigger number next to its version. He bought it because it did the things that he needed it to do.
That seems like a pretty smart thing. I suppose that would be a good way to determine just how manipulated we are by the stuff around us: Is your phone smarter than you? And could we get a headphone jack, please?

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