‘Gadget’ peer pressure or “what’s that piece of cr*p you’re using?”

351571200_1db3e97f22_zI’ll come right out and say it. I don’t yet own a smartphone.

Shock. Gasp. Horror.

I still have one of those Nokia cheapies.

It’s not that bad.

You can search the web if you’re nostalgic and fancy recalling what dial-up internet used to be like… and it has maps that load up just as you reach your destination.

I also don’t own an ipad or any tablet, though I do have a kindle, which my wife bought me for my birthday.

Don’t get me wrong, I like gadgets and if money were no object I’d buy all of them, Stephen Fry-style, in one big splurge (I believe Fry has quite the gadget fetish and likes nothing more than to come home with a crate load of the latest techno gadgets).

I just seem to be making the transition to new technology a lot slower than most and delaying the capital outlay.

It took my wife and I an age to buy a flat screen digital television.

A year ago we were still watching movies on the equivalent of a postage stamp.

It was only when we realised that going to the movies  would be hard when our Edie was born (read my post: My eight months without cinema for more on this) that we splashed out and got a 42 inch beauty for a bit of the home cinema feel.

Funny thing is, some of the older technology is a better suited to my purposes.

For example, going for a run, the tiny little square ipod shuffle (the one Apple brought out in 2006 and are still selling) that weighs as much as a feather and is smaller than After Eight dinner mint is perfect for the task – why bother strapping a full-size ipod to your arm and running lopsided? (Actually, I’ve seen people wearing full-sized ipods or iphones on both arms to balance themselves out I imagine – no kidding.)06shuffle_earbuds

But I have to say, the pressure is rising and I am starting to feel like I’m living in the dark ages for all my lack of technological accoutrements.

It started with a phone call to a family member, which ended with me being admonished for not having an iphone.

“What? You don’t have an iphone?

“What kind of phone do you have?

“You have what?


“Well you better getter one.”

This was followed a few weeks later with this somewhat bitter aside: “You know, if you had an iphone or a Samsung Galaxy I could send you a photo of what I am describing right away?”

“So…when are you getting one?”

Then over dinner with friends a couple of weeks ago “You know you should really get a smartphone. You’re a journalist. You’re a blogger. You really need one.”

And then in the office earlier this week, I was ambushed by my colleagues “You mean, you don’t have an ipad or an iphone?”

Snigger, snigger.

Joke about wife not letting me buy one.

Snigger, snigger.

OK, everyone just calm down. Put away your “Steve Jobs RIP” banners. I get the message.

Yes I know:

  • I’m the only one on the train who doesn’t whip out his smartphone to tap out a message, update their Facebook status or tweet a thought for the day.
  • Yes there are old grannies with perms and tissues tucked under their hand knitted jerseys that can swipe across a smartphone screen faster than flip through a magazine.
  • And yes, the rumours are true, they’ve started giving out an iphone and a book of McDonald’s baby happy meal vouchers (haven’t you heard of the McSlop?) with all new babies born in Australia?

Truth be told I do find myself paging longingly through store catalogues and admiring the phones and tablets on offer, but then when I see the prices or the contracts and the monthly fees I tell myself I can manage another month with my piddling device.

I recall the very first mobile phone my father had.

It was the size 0f a mini rocket launcher and weighed as much as a brick. It could just squeeze into his bedside draw and had a long aerial that you pulled out army style. Boy, was it cool!21581808_45a7b5da91

Flashing forward in time…I’m sitting on court number one at Wimbledon, pork pie in hand, jealously studying a bloke in sunglasses and a tan, snooty girl-friend on his arm, checking his email on a small squarish device called Blackberry.

Whatever happened to those? Apparently even child soldiers in Africa refuse to use them.

But I know it’s only a matter of time before I’m tapping away on a palm-sized gadget, making 1970s-faux images with Instagram and sending witty tweets about advertising slogans while walking around the city during my lunch break.

Hopefully I won’t end up as one of those freakish stories you read about in a little item on page 12 of Mx: man hit by bus while crossing road, laughing at silly photo of monkey wearing underpants on his head on facebook.

Tap tap.

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