HI, I am an old guy who thinks a lot of money is being wasted on unnecessary technology. Tell me why I need this junk. - Techist - Tech Forum

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Old 05-07-2014, 07:13 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default HI, I am an old guy who thinks a lot of money is being wasted on unnecessary technology. Tell me why I need this junk.

My avatar is a 1957 Packard Predictor. I am using that because when I was a boy, this was the "car of the future." Looks to me like they got part of it correct.

I have two 60" flat screens connected to Directv DVR's. We have a computer room with a giant screen PC. We have a Comcast device, (for free), that records every caller and number to our home phone. I do not understand why I need a Cellular phone, (if we make a trip, I'll buy a cheap throw away for the trip). Smart phones, IPODs, miniature computers. I can't see the point of them. Looks to me like a lot of people are missing social interaction while they push buttons on their toys.

I will have some interesting questions for this forum.
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Old 05-07-2014, 11:32 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: HI, I am an old guy who thinks a lot of money is being wasted on unnecessary technology. Tell me why I need this ju

This is going to be good.....

I have an analog cell only = share plan with unlimited text and 300 minutes for 4 people for $165 a month ( wife and 2 teenagers) , about 10 people have my cell number. NO tablet, but in home we have 3 decent PC rigs for gaming/homework/email./etc. We have 2 HD 55" TV'S, Direct TV with whole home DVR. When I listen to music I play a cassette tape, a CD, or go online at home. I still have vinyl, but don't use them anymore.

It will be interesting to hear the arguments for the need for the smart phone ,etc. as I just don't see it being necessary either. Unless your in sales and travel a lot, etc.

So, I partially agree about the smart phone. But , I do enjoy having the cell for text, etc. as my teenagers are much easier to communicate with via text than direct calling them. They do not answer the home phone at all and usually don't answer their cell either. But will open and read and communicate via text. so , they don't have the excuse- "I didn't know X or Y". I can say " hey I sent the text" and can confirm by looking at their phone. Also, it is nice to be able to text the wife when she is at work and then she can open it on her break or when she has time and text me back, then I can then open her text when I have time - which makes that much easier than finding a time that we are both free to talk on a land line or cell phone when we are both at work. But if the wife is a stay home mom, and kids are young- I would not miss the cell phone one bit. So, I guess it depends on your circumstances. At times it is an invasion of privacy - especially if you get solicitations on it.
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Old 05-08-2014, 12:31 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: HI, I am an old guy who thinks a lot of money is being wasted on unnecessary technology. Tell me why I need this ju

My smart phone is more of a convenience than anything. I'm not at home a whole lot during the day unless I'm sleeping, Having the net is great, I do my banking if I need to move money from my savings to my checking account, I order parts for PC's that I'm fixing for people or even order all the parts for a system I'm building for some one. Done that a few times for co-workers that I've built them for, Order there system after they see what I'm getting for them on break time. I have yet to have any issues with any telemarketers but when ever I have to put a phone number on any thing such as a contest entry it gets the home number that hardly gets answered. Having the smart phone just makes things so much easier without having to drive home every time I want to check something on the net. Finding an address for a place I'm looking for is another nice thing too.

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Old 05-08-2014, 01:05 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: HI, I am an old guy who thinks a lot of money is being wasted on unnecessary technology. Tell me why I need this ju

I use my phone mainly for:

Maps. Being able to pull up exactly where you are, and plot a route from X to Y by whatever method of transport you care to name in under 1 minute is *extremely* helpful, especially when it comes to public transport.

Being contactable by people not directly in front of me. Yes, this gets abused. But it also enabled me to find out extremely quickly that my aunt had been hospitalised following a motorcycle crash. I'd call that useful.

Camera. Instead of having to tout around a device with one sole purpose, I just take my phone. Saves space, saves money in buying a point-and-shoot.

Internet. Myriad of uses here.
1. Price checking after walking into a store, or checking beforehand to know *which* store to go to.
2. Fact checking, I don't have to take the word of a random stranger that X is right, I can check sources straight away if it's something important.
3. Entertainment. Stuck waiting for my gf in the shops? I can lookup a video, read a book, read the news, etc. I don't think that counts as "replacing socialising" as not many shoppers want to sit down and chat

In the end it's just a powerful tool. It can be abused, just like a TV or car or any tool really. But blame the user, not the device.
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Old 05-08-2014, 06:08 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: HI, I am an old guy who thinks a lot of money is being wasted on unnecessary technology. Tell me why I need this ju

you don't need technology, but it simplifys your live in many ways
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Old 05-13-2014, 11:36 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: HI, I am an old guy who thinks a lot of money is being wasted on unnecessary technology. Tell me why I need this ju

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lassiter View Post
My avatar is a 1957 Packard Predictor. I am using that because when I was a boy, this was the "car of the future." Looks to me like they got part of it correct.

I have two 60" flat screens connected to Directv DVR's. We have a computer room with a giant screen PC. We have a Comcast device, (for free), that records every caller and number to our home phone. I do not understand why I need a Cellular phone, (if we make a trip, I'll buy a cheap throw away for the trip). Smart phones, IPODs, miniature computers. I can't see the point of them. Looks to me like a lot of people are missing social interaction while they push buttons on their toys.

I will have some interesting questions for this forum.
This can provoke some interesting responses.
As far as needing, need is determined by if you truly require something, which can be entirely different for all of us.
I believe that having a mobile phone of some sort can be invaluable, but it's really dependent on your life style. I live in a fairly active city, and there have been times that I am contacting my friend to give directions last minute, or that I had to call 911 when someone hit a motorcyclist and ran while he was bleeding out in the road, etc. it's really useful for last minute instructions or communications.
Regarding missing social interaction due to hand held electronics I completely agree, however, here are some things to consider. On one hand these technologies allow a "new" archetype of personality to exist and be more prevalent, the introverted personality. With society encouraging extroverts and sometimes condemning introverts, despite a large percentage (estimated 16-50%) of people being introverts. I have spent a lot of my time with people making wrong assumptions simply due to the way that I interact. Such as at parties I don't particularly enjoy being in a group or taking turns talking louder and louder with one another until everyone is practically yelling, especially with any form of music or noise going on. I find it unnerving and usually can't wait to get away from it all, hence why I may find a quieter part of the house or location and play on my phone or talk to 1-2 people. This is part of me being an introvert and handheld electronics can be quite enjoyable during social gatherings simply because I do not usually enjoy these gatherings, but society tries to force these things with things such as social interaction in general with things such as group think, conformity, social norms, peer pressure etc.

On the other hand, these technological devices can sort of dehumanize us in terms of being able to interact with one another in the "real world" real world being outside of any sort of electronic barrier; like talking to a person one on one in an interview rather than it being over skype. Technology in general can be degrading to human interaction, you could say that those TVs are a problem as they make you focus your attention on them and present a false way of things as being plausible. Not to mention, TV bombards you with one way communication, it sends you a message, but no real interaction occurs. It's not nearly like a conversation with another person face-to-face. Martin Heidegger's "The Question Concerning Technology" essay dissects this issue a lot more in depth, but it's philosophy so it can be hard to grasp and some consider it a worthless investment of time. In abstract, Heidegger feels that any technology at all turns something from beautiful and natural to an object and sort of demoralizes us. Heidegger uses the Rhine River as an example, he speaks on how poetry could be written about the river, however once a hydroelectric plant was placed on it, the river was ruined. He goes on to argue that the river was ruined due to the hydroelectric plant sort of objectifying the river. The river is now a source of electricity, rather than a natural beauty. Heidegger reduces beauty to Aristotle's Four Causes and argues in terms of his dazein and experiencing aletheia. It's an interesting read, but likely requires reading of a few more essays of his to get a good idea of what he means and why he thinks it. It has been a year or so since I have read it so I'm a bit rusty on it.

In abstract: Portable electronic devices can be particularly useful for introverts or an otherwise bored person such as when people are waiting outside of a class at college.
Also, just about all technology can and does cause us to miss out on social interaction, be it minute or of considerable magnitude.
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Old 05-14-2014, 12:51 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: HI, I am an old guy who thinks a lot of money is being wasted on unnecessary technology. Tell me why I need this ju

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lassiter View Post
... I have two 60" flat screens connected to Directv DVR's. We have a computer room with a giant screen PC. We have a Comcast device, (for free), that records every caller and number to our home phone. I do not understand why I need a Cellular phone, (if we make a trip, I'll buy a cheap throw away for the trip). Smart phones, IPODs, miniature computers. I can't see the point of them. Looks to me like a lot of people are missing social interaction while they push buttons on their toys. ...
Why is it you can understand why you "need" 2 60" TVs with DVRs, a PC and your Comcast device but can't understand why you would need any other technology?

I wouldn't say any technology is needed but I can more easily justify my smartphone than I could a 60" TV.
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Old 05-14-2014, 12:53 AM   #8 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: HI, I am an old guy who thinks a lot of money is being wasted on unnecessary technology. Tell me why I need this ju

I feel like I need to add something here
I use my phone mainly to make my life easier. In most situations it's a heck of a lot easier to send a text message than it is to completely interrupt what you were doing and make a call.
Maps is another huge thing. I also get news alerts on my phone, along with automatic updates to my work ticket system and whatnot so I can respond quicker.

Though I don't do Facebook or any social media. I don't feel the need to.
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Old 05-15-2014, 09:31 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: HI, I am an old guy who thinks a lot of money is being wasted on unnecessary technology. Tell me why I need this ju

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lassiter View Post
My avatar is a 1957 Packard Predictor. I am using that because when I was a boy, this was the "car of the future." Looks to me like they got part of it correct.

I have two 60" flat screens connected to Directv DVR's. We have a computer room with a giant screen PC. We have a Comcast device, (for free), that records every caller and number to our home phone. I do not understand why I need a Cellular phone, (if we make a trip, I'll buy a cheap throw away for the trip). Smart phones, IPODs, miniature computers. I can't see the point of them. Looks to me like a lot of people are missing social interaction while they push buttons on their toys.

I will have some interesting questions for this forum.
Quote:
Originally Posted by strollin View Post
Why is it you can understand why you "need" 2 60" TVs with DVRs, a PC and your Comcast device but can't understand why you would need any other technology?

I wouldn't say any technology is needed but I can more easily justify my smartphone than I could a 60" TV.
I was thinking the exact same thing. Most people who think this way are pretty closed minded because they find value in the things they use but can't find the value in other things because other people may have a need for them.

Smart phones, phablets, and tabs are invaluable to people who are on the go or do a lot of work related activities that require such devices. You have a note keeper, a communication device, a camera, a video camera, a remote control, a movie player, a music player, a map/GPS, and a slew of other things right in the palm of your hand which eliminates the need for one use objects that bulk up your life. They aren't necessary for everybody but they wouldn't be so popular if there wasn't a demand for simplicity.

If you're a kid and your parents won't let you have a smartphone for obvious reasons, then I really can't understand why you wouldn't see the need for portable music devices. I've always been a very anti-social person and having my Walkman (tape or CD) with earbuds in my ears means please don't talk to me. I love music, so therefor I like listening to music anywhere I go.

Tabs and netbooks can be extremely useful for people with very little space like living in a small studio apartment in a big city (NY, London, ect) or a dorm.

And I think I can state the obvious here that you're missing social interaction while watching your recorded shows or typing up a troll question.
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