Saturday, December 27, 2008

Market Baskets and iPhone

I have often remarked about my Little House on the Prairie ideal vs. my husband's Star Trek ideal. This year, I relished in giving books and market baskets. His big gift to me and himself were matching iPhones. I am used to getting tech gifts from him. That's fine. Something I wouldn't give myself. I tend to buy Mark more books than he can read. (I was good this year and only got him a subscription to Runner's World.)

Now part of my LHOTP wistfulness is a wish for a simpler time. Self sufficiency, community participation, direct contact with the food chain. I am not a technophobe, but what bothers me about technology is that I constantly have to update my skills--especially after I have managed a degree of proficiency with the old technology so that I can work it with the fluidity of muscle memory instead of brainpower. The other thing that annoys me about gadgetry is that I have to live in a state of dissatisfaction. I can never be happy with what I have; I must be constantly alert for updates, in both software and hardware.

Now I must backtrack a bit. I've been carrying a big purse lately to accommodate my day planner, journal, books, etc. I also tend to carry my market bag with current projects or books. But this past week, I have suffered a bad back. I do long for simplicity, but being confined to a sofa with nothing to do but explore iPhone applications, I am beginning to see that simplicity can come in many forms. If I set myself up right, I could be carrying one tool for use in/as navigation, diet log, calendar, grocery list, wine guide, phone, iTunes, pedometer, knitting patterns, address book, email, flashlight, clock radio, reading books and articles, diary, personal trainer, surfing web, art gallery, meditation timer, and restaurant locator. It's like the Swiss Army knife of life. If it could function as a corkscrew, I could probably be set for life. WOW! Now all of this will take a bit to set up, and a bit longer to be comfortable with it. I am going to be very hard pressed to give up my paper day planner, but I think that bad back will prevail, and I will at least try a paperless version.

For some time, I felt that maybe technology and subsequently my husband were at odds with my values of simplicity, but I think I am beginning to see what gains I can make in my life.

1. Going paperless will save on resources. No more printing maps and directions
2. I won't expend as much energy looking for all my stuff and cursing myself when I forget it.
3. I can further save on space by downloading books--something I am not eager to try, but with dwindling bookshelf space, I must think about.
4. One device to plug in. One power cord to keep track of.
5. In sync with my hubby.

So, I may at times give commentary as to how I am doing, making the iPhone a tool for my life, instead of making my life fit the phone. I've already thought of an application I have yet to see: Produce stand/local food source locator. Can someone get on that? I need to fill my market basket.

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