Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Stumbling along the information highway

We're well into the 21st century and I'm slowly getting the hang of this brave new digital world that has taken hold of most everyone not living under a rock or too young to have ever whacked away at a manual typewriter!

The good news here is I don't live under a rock. So I managed to dip my tootsies into the digital waters a few years ago when I purchased a laptop and quickly learned that it offered up all sorts of magical ways to keep me entertained and informed. That's not to say I was a complete troglodyte! I, of course, had been traveling along the World Wide Web for years at work.

But when I called it quits, my company's IT department didn't follow me home! That meant the little glitches that hid about in my shiny new computer often turned into big problems. As often as not, it seemed, I was stumbling about the information highway instead of gleefully surfing with the wind at my back.

But I persevered!

And after a time I was up and running, dashing about a wide assortment of sites and even playing a few online games, creating a blog and doing a little webified shopping. Life was good. So it seemed only natural that I take another little baby step into the digital waters and think seriously about replacing my flip phone with one of those newfangled smart ones.

When I learned that another generation -- baby, not phone -- was in the making and that I'd be needing a quick way to text my daughter and, of course, an easy way to document the moment-by-moment happenings of my soon-to-be granddaughter, it all became a done deal. Now I had both a shiny new laptop AND a shiny new smartphone!

Life, yet again, was good. But here's the rub. Apparently that old saw about the more you have the more you want is, um, true. After only a short time, I found that I was using my phone for a wide variety of reasons -- surfing the web, listening to music, checking out Facebook postings and such. In short, I had turned the little hand-held device into a mini-tablet and after awhile it seemed that, well, just maybe, I was actually ready to leap into the 21st century with both feet!

All of this is just a long and rambling way to report that I've recently purchased an iPad and, in fact, am using it right now to whack out this blog posting. That's the good news. Like most everything else in life, there is also a downside to having a magical device that easily links you to the rest of the world in all sorts of ways.

It only took me a few hours to figure out how to navigate around the tablet and only a few days to download an assortment of apps focusing on news and entertainment sites, games, music and videos. I now have access to more books, newspapers and magazines then I'll ever have time to read and a music library -- my own music, satellite radio and Pandora -- that will have me tapping my tootsies for the rest of my digital life; all of this within arm's length, seconds away throughout the day.

So, what's the problem?

Sometimes having it all can be a little too much. Less, as some philosopher once said, is often more.

I'll have to give that notion a little thought as I'm watching The "Dawgs" this weekend on the tube while reading a book on my Kindle and surfing the web on my shiny new tablet.

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