Monday, April 03, 2006

‘Cause I’m a 21st Century Digital Boy

Editor’s note: Chase McInerney has opted to take a weeklong sabbatical from the ‘Net. During his absence, the staff writers will be playing Rivers to Chase’s Carson. While the quality of entertainment may wane, please stay tuned – George Segal will be here to annoy us with his banjo, and Joan Embry has promised to bring an adorable yet feisty lemur.

By Surly

Two weeks ago, Chase told me of his plan for self-imposed exile at Walden Pond, and I scoffed at what I assumed was a pointless exercise for Lent. Precisely one week later, my hard drive crashed. Stupid irony.

So while we all have a love/hate relationship with the Digital Age, I’m currently skewing towards hate. Still, there are a variety of recent advances that simply must be appreciated, even while conceding that not every change is an improvement. With that in mind, here’s an anything but comprehensive catalog* of the good/bad of modern day life:

*The following excludes anything like stem cell research that will -- hopefully, I pray -- eventually provide me with fresh lungs and a mint-condition liver. This is strictly limited to everyday items that impact me, Al Franken.


DVR. You have to go back to microwaves to find another technology that prompts such a “Holy shit, how did I ever live without this” reaction. About the only things I still watch live are sporting events, with the exception of MNF, which doesn’t start here in Mayberry until around 3 a.m. Now I can zip through the 2nd half while eating my Tuesday morning Frankenberries. Speaking of football …

Cable. Nothing epitomizes the love/hate relationship better than the current state of cable TV. On the plus side, ESPN’s Gameday and the FOX Sports packages have allowed me to see every OU Sooner game in the past three years (it doesn’t hurt that Bob Stoops has provided a product worth televising). On the negative side, screw you, NFL, for restricting the Sunday Ticket to DirectTV subscribers. And, oh, by the way, I can’t get the NFL Network, so your new Thursday schedule doesn’t mean squat to me. Bastards.

Online Banking. What’s that, U.S. Postal Service, you’re raising the price of stamps again? Knock yerselves, suckers.

File sharing/iPod/CD-R. The control we now have over what/when/how/where we listen to music is nothing short of revolutionary. Even if you’re staunchly anti-piracy, you must admit that without the Napsters of the world, we wouldn’t have iTunes. Yet.

And whoever came up with that technology that allows me to recharge my iPod by plugging it into my computer should be knighted. Go to hell, Duracell.

IM. Holy crap, how I hate instant messaging (this excludes the goofy text messaging that all the kids do, where “O7rg8Jv” means “Amber and Brady are going to the mall after soccer practice and Brady told Amber what you said to Jeremy about Raven and Amber said that if you come to the mall then Raven will go too ‘cuz she like likes you and we can hang out but I have to be home by 8 because I’m still grounded and did you finish your history homework because Jason says we’re having a pop quiz tomorrow.”). Of course, my hatred for IM can be directly attributed to my crappy little job that requires the use of IM. All IM has done for my career is ensure that I’ll never be able to concentrate on anything for more than three minutes at a time.

So Chase, I can understand your desire to unplug for a while. Just don’t stay away too long … remember, there’s a vast world of girl-on-girl video just begging to be downloaded.

3 Comments:

At 10:16 AM, Anonymous flamewhore said...

I distinctly remember the day the cable wires finally made it to my small town. Programming on HBO wasn't as good as it is now. I think I saw the movie "Stripes" twenty-six times.

Might I add caller ID to your list? It sure makes the dinner hour around the tube much better.

 
At 11:09 AM, Anonymous Ronnie Kaye said...

Don't forget the cellphone.
It's become second nature that we can communicate anywhere, anytime.

As for digital, even though I love the IPOD, mp3, etc... I kinda miss the days of thumbing through albums in the store and maybe even taking a chance on one without...God help us... "previewing" it first.

 
At 12:43 PM, Anonymous Scribe said...

Count me among the digitally addicted... I love my DVR (except when it crashes for the third time and I have to get it replaced, like this weekend, losing 23 hours worth of recorded programming), I live by my mobile phone (gave up home landline seven years ago), I love my iPod (and agree with Surly about the cool way I can charge it up through my computer), I use IM less and less because it gets really annoying, online banking has been a lifesaver, and digital cable allows me to see quality programming that I can't find (with few exceptions) on the regular networks.

Good post, Surly.

 

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