First it was the frenzy about the iPhone-3G, that even my students who’d probably had just gotten their first period/half an inch of stubble for the boys are already gasping, yearning ownership. Yesterday and today, the twit world yak non-stop about iPad.
Ok. I have a confession to make. If by comparison to these people around me who are scampering to get their i-“Things”, I must be living in the dinosaur age, truth be spoken.
I still write in a planner made from paper, with the black cover and dates printed in squares. On the cover it says ‘Executive Planner’ colored gold. On the inside it has the calendar, dates of holidays here, Metric Conversion Table, LRT line maps, planning charts and each day of the year comes in a square where I can fill in my to-do list/appointments etc. For holidays and Sundays, the squares are colored pink. That costs me Rm8 from the neighborhood stationery shop.
Let’s talk about my phone. There’s no ‘i’ to it. Nor was it named after a fruit which I like to make muffins with. After a heart-wrenching episode where my multi-function SonyEricsson was stolen in the surau at MidValleyMegaMall, I was resolved not to get any phones that can possibly tempt any more thieves. On that same day, I got a simple Nokia, which can only text and call. It does not even have a colored screen. Basically the kind of phones employers give to their maids. I saw a few 6-7 year olds using more sophisticated phones than I do and my 9 year old student even squarely pointed out that my phone is ‘old fashion’. I paid Rm 119 for it, from the same DigiShop I went to right after I realised my SonyEricsson was stolen, almost in tears as it was a birthday present from the husband and it was merely 4 weeks old.
Do I feel inadequate without the gadgets all the people around me are competing for? Am I missing out on anything? Sometimes I wonder as well. Without an iPhone and iPad or a Blackberry, am I not in the loop of things? Do I miss appointments, get lagged behind the world who are always connected to the cyberspace and in the know of what is the latest? Hmm. Let’s see if I can find the answers to my own questions here.
Am I missing out on anything?
Well, I am on twitter and facebook and when I am at my desktop (yes, I am using a HP desktop, not a slim multi-colored laptop OR an iPad). I can get access to all of the world’s newspapers and the news junkie that I am, I have several tabs of them every morning from JakartaPost to HeraldTribute to NewsAU and even EarthTimes. So if I am missing on anything, it would be on the days I have a bad internet connection/can’t be bothered to switch on anything/sick. Other than that, I am very much abreast with the current affairs of the world, lack of gadgets notwithstanding. So the answer to that has to be, no I am not missing on anything.
Do I miss appointments or can’t secure meetings etc because I do not own a state of the art gadget to remind me in a sophisticated app?
Not that I know of. I used the same kind of planner late last year. With it, I’ve met clients for translation contract worth 5-figure amount for our newly formed translation firm and never missed any appointments so far. And clinched the deals I did, Rm 8 planner et al. With it, I have met many, many deadlines and even squeezed in many lesson plans for students. My students excelled, my deadlines met and my schedule ran its course. And so, my Rm 8 planner has served me well.
So do I really need all these latest gadgets? At the moment, no. In the future, maybe.
The lack of it has worked to my benefit actually. When I am out, I don’t get distracted by the chats and social networking and I don’t read emails on work. I am able to enjoy what I go out for i.e meeting friends, shopping for books, teas and lunches– without having a friend/friends in front of me but my eyes on the blackberry/iPhone. That is such an annoying anti-social behavior, I find.
Without it, I am able to carry out genuine conversations over the lunch/dinner table outside or at home, without constantly being drawn to look at the small screen for ‘updates’. It gives me the ‘there is a time for everything’ without being sucked into having to accept work while I am spending quality time with friends, my other half, films or other things I enjoy. If anyone needs to contact me, I am just an sms or a phone call away, which unless it is urgent, they will definitely get the ‘I will get back to you later’ response from me. If someone I am waiting for is late or I am passing time to get to the next activity, I read.
Having said all that, I know that what I don’t have, I won’t miss. I am not sure if in the future I find myself in a circumstance where I need to own these gadgets, I would not be able to live without them. Till then, my life proceeds (and with better efficiency than iGadgets/Blackberry owners too if I may humbly add :P) well and wonderfully without them. So for now, I shall remain… you know….. i”Kuno”.