Friday, August 12, 2011

On the Menu: Crow

I was scanning the earliest parts of my back pages this evening and came upon this lil nugget I posted back on December 21, 2005:
So there's this article (ed: dead link) this morning about an AP/Ipsos poll that sez Americans are becoming high-tech junkies. Here's a graf:
The bill for being thoroughly plugged in to entertainment and communications runs more than $200 a month for a third of the households in this country. Four in 10 spend between $100 and $150 a month, according to the poll of 1,006 adults taken Dec. 13-15.
Sounds about right. I'm right at $150.00 a month when you add up the bills from cable TV (basic, not digital), internet (a 300Kb connection) and my cell phone (I don't have a land-line for what should be obvious reasons). I don't call myself a "gadget guy." I don't have a BlackBerry, an iPod, a TiVo, a stand-alone DVD player, nor an XBox or equivalent. I don't think I'm a Luddite, either. I just have no need, interest or desire for the things I don't have.

Try as I might (and I tried, believe me) I cannot find the breakdown on this poll. The Ipsos site doesn't have the data and it looks like you need to be a subscriber to get details, anyway. I think the details, rather than the generalities, of this poll would be fascinating!
To quote The Guess Who: "Seasons change and so do I... you need not wonder why, you not wonder why..."  What's changed since 2005, in the way of device additions: 
  • A DVD player that rarely gets used
  • A SmartPhone, which is kinda-sorta like a Blackberry
  • My SmartPhone can double as an iPod, if I let it.
  • A DVR... not a TiVo... as part of my cable package.
  • A Kindle (not available in 2005)
What's changed in the way of services:
  • I went from basic cable to a package that includes HD-TV channels (no HBO or other movie crap, thankyouverymuch)
  • I went from a 300Kbps "wireless" internet connection to a fiber connection with 4Mbps access.
I suppose I have to eat some crow and re-classify myself as a "gadget guy," painful as it is.  There IS a price to be paid for bein' a gadget guy... my monthly expenses for information services (cable, internet, cell phone) have gone up over 50 Yankee Dollars a month since 2005.  But... they're worth every penny and I'm SO very glad to be able to have them.  Ain't livin' in the 21st century great?

More from Pew Internet on the subject of gadgets and stuff here... including this spiffy graphic:

My generation...The Silent Generation (heh)... looks positively retarded in the gadget space.  What the Hell is wrong with us, aside from the fact we're old?  Wait.  Old might explain it... cue up Emily:


  1. This makes me feel young and with it in the gadget department! On the other hand, it also makes me feel a little wretched, seeing as how I'll move from the Younger Boomer category to the Older Boomers later this month. Great way to start out the day -- becoming old.

  2. Only 95% of Millennials own a cell phone? I'd swear it was 100% around here, because I never see a Millennial without a cell phone attached, but I live in a privileged college town.

    We're trying to figure out if we can drop cable altogether and live on Netflix, except I would miss some Home & Garden & Cooking shows, and Meester would miss his sports coverage. Otherwise, we watch only a select very few dramas or sitcoms.

    I'm with Moogie -- nice graphic, but it says I've moved from a "Younger Boomer" to an "Older Boomer"; I didn't need to start out my day being reminded I'm getting older either. Maybe that's a chick thing -- see how many more comments you get from either sex about the age criteria in your graphic.

    I love all of Gilda Radner's characters, bless her. I still say "Never Mind" in her Emily voice, which...ummmm...probably dates me as OLD.

  3. Yeah Buck, we're at roughly two bills per month, too. Cable, high speed net, cell phone, netflix, etc.

    Worth every penny really.

    I don't know if I'd so much call it eating crow. More like wising up. 16 years ago, oldest son BEGGED for a computer. I poo-pooed it. "What in the world do we need with a computer???" "Mom can put her recipes on it..."

    Three or four years later, I was totally dependent on the internet for my livelihood. Never thought I'd be without a land line, either. But, here I am.

    These are indeed wondrous times. Some folks don't embrace it, and that's all good, too. I guess I learned from my great grandmother (who lived to 104, and was as sharp as a tack) to enjoy, and embrace advances in technology. She loved it when microwave ovens came out, and she almost had a fit when she got a telephone that you could take out in the garden with you! She loved it. And, I damn betcha that if she was alive today she'd be one net cruisin' old gal.

  4. I'm not a gadget geek, but I wanna be.

  5. Moogie: Becoming old beats the alternative all to Hell. And back.

    Red: Well, moving from Younger to Older Boomer ain't as bad as bein' "Silent," izzit? I agree with you about Millennials and cell phones, too. They ALL have 'em.

    Andy: A friend of mine tried to talk me into buyin' a 'puter around 1982 or so and my reaction was EGG-zactly like yours, i.e., why the Hell do **I** need a computer? And then the inevitable happened...

    Lou: You can join us... and quite easily, at that. ;-)

  6. "Silent generation?" LOL--didn't know that was our label, Buck. Guess that's because our generational cohort--the "war babies" born during WW II--was the smallest in modern history, hence, I guess fewer voices to impact society. A shame too, as, seeing that SAT scores peaked in 1963, ours was also the most successfully educated generation in modern history--at least by that gauge, as SATs have been in free-fall ever since despite being dumb'd down a couple of times and averages statistically "re-centered" at least once in a futile attempt to cover up the fact. Of course, I attribute our high SAT scores to the fact most of us learned to read pre-tv.. :)

    wv: unfar--yes life is, isn't it Buck? LOL


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