“When did I get old?” I ask myself. I look in the mirror, see my hair trying to run away from me and I think wait a second I am not old I am only 33.
When I was 15 I kept current on all the latest technology, science news, entertainment gossip, latest movies and TV shows, you name it I was on top of it. Today I found out about a decade old technology that I would have thought was still science fiction. I read an article on a science blog about things NASA has already moved away from that I didn’t even know they were even considering, and one of my favorite NBA players is all over the news and I didn’t even find out about it until someone on Facebook pointed it out, and I work for a newspaper. Granted it’s a local community paper still I should be more on top of current events at least.
It was a few years ago that I realized I not only didn’t care about the fast approaching technology like I used to, a self described techie mind you, but that I actually preferred antiquated technologies the true techies of today were scoffing at. I was watching a TV commercial the other day for a new Apple Watch. A year ago I wanted one so bad not because it was a cool gadget but because it meant watches were coming back. I love time pieces, watches, clocks, you name it I am very fascinated by these sorts of time measuring devices. Almost to the point of obsession. But what made me really question my right to claim myself as a techie was that the ONLY thing that interested me about the Apple Watch was the watch part, all the fancy apps and internet stuff actually has me disinterested. So much for being a true tech nerd right?
Then I realized I was wrong, I am a true techie or technophile if you prefer, I just don’t follow fad technologies much. Maybe I have become more of a luddite than I realized.
Let me explain my position. What fascinates me about technology is not so much how cool does this device make me look but how does it make my life better, easier, or in what ways does it improve upon what I already have. See I own an iPod Classic, because for my needs it is superior to the iPod Touch. And that is the difference between a techie who loves technology and a hipster who just follows the latest trends and fads. See for all intents and purposes, yes that is the correct English phrase look it up, the iPod classic is superior to the iPod Touch in EVERY. SINGLE. WAY. PERIOD. The only advantage the touch has is it can play games and run apps. Why is it inferior? Because ALL it is is a stripped down iPhone with less features. If you ALREADY own a smart phone, which even I do have an iPhone, then there is no need for an iPod Touch because literally every single feature that a Touch supports an iPhone has and then some. BUT there is still a use for an iPod Classic, first the touch never got larger than 32GB of space, my iPod classic holds 160 GB of space and my previous one had twice that. The point is as a separate device an iPod Classic is superior even though it is older tech because it actually serves a unique purpose the newer “fad tech” does not.
I felt that this is not the same as the transition from VHS to DVD as an example. I was all in when it came to DVD because it was superior to VHS in every single way, even recording if you had the proper equipment which I did. So why am I so hesitant when it comes to Blu Ray? Well for starters I backed HD-DVD over Blu Ray at first so there was a small amount of disparity there. As a technology Blu Ray is superior to HD-DVD and normal DVD. Don’t get me wrong what has kept me buying DVD’s and less Blu Ray movies comes down to a variety of factors.
The first is price, I can get an entire series of my favorite TV show on DVD for less than what one season costs on Blu Ray more often than not. Also most of the TV shows I buy were done in SD so putting them on Blu Ray would be redundant as DVD is already SD. What really bothers me is that as a technology Blu Ray is inferior to Streaming/Digital in every single way but the streaming/digital options are limited by OTHER outdated technologies. See if I want a movie in FULL HD Netflix is not an option because there does not exist an internet service that can stream at the same data rate a a BR Disc. What makes me enjoy Netflix more is the cost to content ratio. Doctor Who, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and Star Trek alone more than pay for the service as getting those shows on DVD, or even Blu Ray itself, would cost me a fortune.
So are my preferences changing with age? Would that explain why I am not as interested in Smart Watches now as I was a year ago when they were just concept? I did pick the PS4 over Xbox One partly because of the technology aspect but also because PS4 ha the better games, for the most part. But I still picked up a Wii U on the side. In fact I got my Wii U before I got the PS4. Okay just a month before but still. Despite the downside in graphics the Wii itself was a technological feat that neither PS3 nor Xbox 360 could fully mimic completely. And the areas they did manage to get it right it took them several tries.
So when did I go from a techie who had to have the latest gadget to a guy that let nostalgia persuade into buying a dead game console like the failing Wii U? When I got Wii on launch day I knew it was going to be a phenomenon because Wii Sports alone made that machine a total party machine. How did I let nostalgia talk me into buying what is essentially a PS3 with a broken ipad attached as a controller playing nothing but souped up Super NES remakes?
I recently started watching Heroes Reborn and despite it being inferior to the previous incarnation of the show, I can’t bring myself to stop watching because I find myself seeking the familiar more these days than the unfamiliar. I suppose some of his could be my aging. Is there an alternative explanation though? Could it be that I have reached a point where the technology of today isn’t fascinating because it just isn’t fascinating? It just doesn’t pique my interest as much?
I guess I knew I was aging when I realized I would rather sit and watch re-runs of That 70s show or Home Improvement then bother checking out what is even new on the TV. Either way life moves on, the world keeps changing there is nothing I can do to stop it so might as well enjoy it while I can and try to make the most of it.
Maybe I will look into getting one of those Smart Watches after all.