I know I’m going to sound old, here, and I’m not making any complaints that haven’t been made before.
I’m not adverse to technological advance. Hell… I love it. The only reason I held out on getting an iPod for so long is not for nostalgia or anything like that, but because I absolutely hate MP3. It’s not because I can hear the difference. I don’t have “super ears” or a ridiculously expensive sound system with unnecessarily awesome, direct, high quality, surround sound speakers (though you can bet that I wish like hell I did… with a vinyl record player, a radio [connected to regular FM/Am, Sirius, and Pandora], a disc-player that can play everything from CDs to SH-CDs to DVD-As to DVDs to Blu-Rays and so on, a connection for portable player, and a hard drive to store and play lossless files like FLAC). I’m as good at telling the difference between FLAC and MP3 as your average person. I just hate how MP3 compresses. I think it’s wrong to cut any portion of a sound file out, regardless how little, or in what spectrum. It’s just plain wrong.
But this isn’t what I want to rant about. You see, in December of 2011, in preparation for my 10-day trip to Israel, I finally caved and bought an iPod Touch 4G. And despite my hatred for everything MP3, man was I excited. I loaded it with music (yes… in MP3), apps, games… I was set, man! Just had to make sure I had a WiFi connection.
So I get back from Israel, and 2012 rolls around. Things are good… January… then I notice something. Slowly, all the apps I have start updating… for iPhone and iPad. More and more things require an internet connection, including GPS which obviously assumes you have a 3G or 4G connection. Now, it’s June 1, and just about everything is for a device with a 3G or 4G connection.
What about me? I cannot afford to get an iPhone or an iPad, then pay a monthly subscription fee for either 3G or 4G service. I’m starting to discover a plethora of apps that I basically can’t use… at all. I’m two weeks shy of only having my iPod for 6 months, and it’s already basically obsolete. And it sucks.
(And don’t even get me started on my cell phone, the very first LG enV… yes, I am currently that poor.)
I get it… technology moves fast. And it doesn’t really bother me. In fact, for the most part, it excites me greatly. I cannot tell you how excited I am by the prospect of small, thin, light, portable music players with terabyte-sized hard drives to hold tens of thousands of songs, hundreds of movies, hundreds of thousands of pictures, and even more apps all at the same time. I’m looking forward to the next wave of the internet. What’s it gonna look like? Is plugging in going to be actually plugging in to a virtual reality world where, instead of online shopping at a webpage, you can actually walk in to a store called Amazon and browse seemingly endless rows of shelves for whatever you want, only to have it delivered to your front door in less than an hour?
And what’s in store for our future?
Will I live to see moon colonies? Will I live to see Mars colonies? Will I get to visit Mars? How about a moon of Saturn?
What will be available to me in my later years? Will they have figured out how to cure Alzheimer’s? What about Cancer? Will I have technology and medicine available to me that will let me live to, say, 150, or even 200, in both a mentally and physically healthy state? Will the technology exist for me to, after I die, have my dead body shot off into the sun (from star dust we were made, to star dust I would like to return)?
But maybe, every once in a while, those people churning out this great new technology could spare a thought for those of us who can’t afford to upgrade as fast as it comes out. Maybe the makers of these new and improved apps could remember that there are still people out there who don’t have 3G or 4G, and who still depend on WiFi to get online with their iPods.
Is that too much to ask?