Friday, January 12, 2007


The gales of laughter following my admission that I didn’t know what an iPod was, had barely subsided into snide giggles when the Apple corporation announced their latest addition to the world of “must-have” technological garbage to confuse me.

With iPod they had me understandably flummoxed for I knew full well what a pod was. It’s a thing peas come in, many of which are, apparently, much alike. But with their newest device they are not able to fool me so easily. I know that the iPhone MUST be a telephone and presumably a portable one at that. Those that consider me to be a technophobe should be aware that I was one of the first users of a mobile phone. It was about the shape, size and weight of a concrete building block and with similar characteristics as far as communication went, but I was a pioneer of what I still consider to be a very valuable piece of equipment.

In fact I still use one, a latest and greatest model that retains, buried somewhere in its mysterious and arcane depths, the ability to communicate. No longer can I just dial a number and be in communication but before then, it gives me a bewildering list of options, none of which I either want nor need. WAP, SMS. MMS and a host of other things that would have baffled ET when he wanted just to call home. Thus if you call me and I don’t answer at once, it’s because I’m still trying to figure out how to.

The iPhone, apparently, will also have, somewhere, the ability to make phone calls if you can only find it amongst the options.

I believe that it is much the same as an iPod, whose function has now been explained to me but without any explanation as to why someone would want to listen to music whilst walking down the street. This concept escapes me totally. Beethoven’s Ninth can hardly sound the same when squirted into one’s left lughole whilst waiting for the little green man to tell you that it’s OK to cross the road. But I do believe you will be able to take a photo, get the latest weather and send an E-Mail whilst listening, all stuff that every successful technocrat needs to do whilst walkabout.

I do appreciate that this all due to my inability to adjust to the demands of everyday life where so-called multi-tasking is now essential. In fact, it would be fair to say that I’ve always had difficulty mono-tasking.

I listen to music when at a concert or in the peace and quiet of my own home. I make business phone calls when I am in my office. I take photographs using an old fashioned camera. I send E-Mails from my desk. I still write letters and mail them (how old-fashioned can you get?).

And, when walking down the street I don’t very often bump into people because I am trying to listen to my iPod or, in the future, to use all the functions of my iPhone. I think that I am less likely to get run over this way.

Call me irresponsible and behind the times if you like, and I realise that not having one of these devices will render me a social pariah. I am prepared to wear this badge with pride.

But of course, there’s always the advantage that I’m less likely to be mugged and robbed of one of these things, which seems to be the national sport at present. And I’ll also be a good deal better off financially.


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