Saturday, August 6, 2011

I just read this article “Back to School Gadget Guide”:

I know that this a Yahoo! Shopping guide, and not a legitimate news article, but the fact that it is included in Yahoo! News alongside news of Gabrielle Giffords ongoing recovery and tea party developments makes it seem a little more legitimate, because people are going to read it as a news piece.

I am going to try very hard not to make this into a “When I was in school. . . . .” rant like all old people, but something about this article really bothered me.

Oh, OK- I’ll allow myself one little rant-ling: When I was in school, my back to school list included notebooks, pens and pencils and new uniforms. No fancy electro-thing-a ma-bobs!

There, now it’s over.

Some of the things in this guide make sense. For example, a good printer is definitely something useful. I don’t think “my printer wasn’t working” is a valid excuse for a lot of teachers. I also agree with the inclusion of the external hard drive (the one is this article is especially pretty, too) because anyone that’s ever had a computer crash or lost a flash drive or forgotten to save a paper knows a lot of back-up is good.

But since when is a $100 razor a school supply?

And the Mac Book Air would definitely wipe out my own budget- but apparently “if you want to get the epitome of style, form and functionality” then your kids need it.

This brings me back to a recent discussion I had regarding societal pressure to have the latest and greatest technological accessories, and kids (or even adults) that do not have them getting ridiculed.

E taught in Maryland for 3 years, and he was also a basketball coach. On a bus ride home from a game, he noticed that all the kids were listening to Ipods, except one kid who had kind of a beat-up Discman. I don’t know if anyone said anything to him, but even if they didn’t, how must that student have felt?

It is not the same as an adult that chooses not to buy a a Kindle or a Droid. I choose to have a crappy cell phone b/c I know I don’t need a fancy one to feel connected to anyone. My ugly little Trac phone works just fine for coordinating dinner plans and calling AAA when the Silver Tongue is sick, but people make fun of me for it. Even I make fun of myself for it. I might as well have one of those old-people Jitterbug phones with just 2 giant buttons on it: home and 911.

It seems like these two giant words CONSUME and TECHNOLOGY are two sides of the same coin- or crisp $100 bill.

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