I-LESS IN SACRAMENTO

I missed two in 2001, one in 2007 and one in 2011. To what (which, who) am I referring? Why the I-volutions! In 2001 there were I-pods and I-tunes. In 2007, the big news was I-phones and last year it was the I-pad. And here I-am, I-less in Sacramento.

Yes, with some degree of embarrassment, I reluctantly admit that I have none of these icons of the cultural and digital revolution. I still have the CD player that looks like a small black pizza – complete with clunky headphones that wrap over my head – that I used to take to the gym. Said player was always stuffed in a nylon fanny pack (remember those? like I needed extra width on my hips) with a handful of the latest CDs. There were no I-tunes on my music shelf!

As the decade marched on, the I-phone debuted. Other people threw away their land lines, answering machines and portable phones while I adamantly stuck by my old silver all-in-one. When I finally stepped up my game and added a hands-free mike headset (which also went over my head – do you see a pattern here too?) I felt like I was cruising in the fast lane.

Last fall I reluctantly stuck my toe into deeper digital waters when I eliminated all but my cell phone. It was the most basic of communicators and, in fact, did not take a picture, send a text or surf the web. It was not hooked into a GPS or Yelp pages; it did not talk back when I asked a question. When I turned it sideways, it did not change its format and my index finger on its face just left smudges. My phone only rang – and usually when I was on the freeway being followed by a highway patrol car.

It was these unexpected and unwanted calls to answer (along with the high cost of minutes) that finally unnerved me. Every time that digital demon rang I would pull out the phone, try to make out who was calling while changing lanes, curse when caller ID was blocked, drop the phone which skittered under the seat, and finally pull over to calm my heart.

After about a month of flopping about and gasping, I struggled back to more familiar shores and coughed up the dough to get a land line. My little silver fox of a phone is chained to the wall, takes messages and rings occasionally. But I still keep my cell – usually off and in my purse.

Which leaves only the last revolution to leave me behind, the I-pad. A friend bought one of the first releases and waxed rhapsodic – endlessly. When I finally saw it in person I admit to being less than impressed. What could it do that my laptop could not? Was it not like an e-reader on steroids (which is a whole other revolution to be discussed at a later date) without the chops?

The other day I noticed my son smirking when I mentioned I might get a tape recorder to do some live interviews. Those twitching lips immediately alerted me that I was becoming an anachronism – which is like being anchored to the past only without the religious connotations.

So here I am – I-less in Sacramento – which is like being clueless but dumber. I have decided to withhold my support for the next soon-to-be launched revolution. I figure in a few years people will start viewing me as a Retro Chick – and you know that is just a step away from being Really Cool.

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