Wednesday, January 2, 2013

...There's More than One Way to Stay Connected...

For the second year in a row, all I wanted for Christmas was peace on earth, goodwill toward men, and for nobody to get on my nerves.

I got some other stuff instead.

It was a pretty nice haul, but the two standouts for me were the most surprising gift and the most fun and endearing gift.

The winner for most surprising gift goes to the Nook HD

Yes, I know. Ms Anti-Technology, would-rather-chain-herself-to-a-pile-of-dusty-library-books-than-go-digital got an eReader. I didn’t ask for it, wasn’t expecting it, and stared at it for some minutes before I was able to fully grasp what I was holding in my hands.

I must admit it’s pretty nice. It can do almost anything I would normally do from a computer including surf the web, listen to online radio (I already had a Pandora account), and stream movies (likewise on the Netflix account) but reading on that thing was an adjustment.

I’m still the same kid that will print things I find online because I find it easier to read on paper.

So at least this saves me paper and ink. And it’s kind of cool to not have to get up to shut off the light when I’m ready to nod off with tired eyes after some bedtime reading, even if it's still strange to tap your way to the next page, or make a bookmark with a finger swipe.

I vowed to never give in and buy one for a whole slew of reasons. (Two cheers for the library and boo-hiss those overpriced eBooks that costs the publisher next to nothing to create.)

Still I love and appreciate the thought and the effort, and received the gift graciously. I have been playing around with it mercilessly discovering what it can do. And I’ve finished two books already (Booky Wook 2 and an old favorite, The Coldest Winter Ever) and am searching for a third worth the purchase (Mustaine: A Heavy Metal Memoir is a contender)

The prize taker for the most fun and endearing gift sat opposite the Nook with something of a smug smile.

It was a gift set called “The Art of the Love Letter Writing”

It's cute, ain't it?
This is a kit that includes a quill pen, ink, a stamp and a stick of sealing wax, and I think even if you don’t hand write letters as often as I do, you probably would start if you had this kit.

I haven’t had such fun with writing. And I swear writing with a quill makes your penmanship much, much neater looking.

It was another unexpected, really thoughtful gift that I love and appreciate.

And kind of funny to get something that seemed so opposite of the eReader.

One morning, not long after Christmas I heard an interview on Marketplace with CNet’s Molly Wood (if that name doesn't make you smile...) speaking about how 2013 would be the year of being connected.

Turns out she meant technology and by “connected”, she meant that everything you own will have the ability to be connected to the internet.

“Where everybody realizes, or the more tech savvy amongst us realizes, that just about everything you own can be connected to the internet, and that makes the world more exciting, more personal, more useful place to live….

So things that people haven’t necessarily traditionally thought of are suddenly apart of your home network. And that means your smart phone or your tablet can talk to you TV, and vice versa, and you’re sort of sharing content, information. It sounds complicated at first, but once it’s all hooked up, it’s pretty fun."

I don’t know that being connected to technology everywhere all the time counts as a "more personal world."

For all the great wonder of being able to see your loved one smile at your through a lens from half way around the world, we both know absolutely nothing is better than seeing them in person, giving them a hug and feeling their heart beat in time with yours. (A sensation you can induce by hugging them with your left arm over their right shoulder and having them do the same. Try it. Feels nice, right?)

And I still believe in being selective about who you share content and information with. I can’t get excited about living in a world that feels privy to everything and then takes it without my consent. I don’t think that was part of the original plan. At least I hope it wasn’t.

If all the parts of your life make you who you are, then what will become of you if anyone can come along and take any part they want?

She was also excited about that Google’s Project Glass, which I still find to be hideous.

I guess it’s because I’m not tech savvy or because I don’t play those first person video games. I feel like life as I see it is surreal enough without paying for the technology to make it that way.

This commercial is almost two years old, but darn if it wasn’t already the future.

I propose that we make 2013 the year of being connected the old fashion way.

Get up, go find someone you love and give them a hug and kiss.

If that’s not possible, hand write them a letter and seal it with a kiss.

And try not to be so surprised at how horrible your spelling has become after years of auto spell check and texting.

I promise that you'll get better with each letter you write.

* * *
Stevie Wonder – Send One Your Love

Minnie Riperton – Reasons

Yep. I’m dancing-

Kylie Minogue – Can’t Get You Out of My Head

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