Friday, August 27, 2010

The Wonders of Modern Technology

As if you were interested, I'm typing this into Microsoft Word while watching a Phillies game on the TV. I can do that because Word 2007 links documents into ones blog, complete with spell check, although I think Pearalo isn't on the list.

I giggled (quietly) to myself as yet another trip to the grocery store tonight was accompanied by the exact description I left of Thursday night's trip. Complete with the "I Love Lucy" product bunch-up at the end and the "thanks for bagging" finale. Art imitates life.

I've been reading a lot about the Kindle, Amazon's electronic reading device. I'm a gadget guy, and if money was no object (which it always is) I'd have every iPhone and i-Thing that comes down the pike. I'd guess there are a lot of gadget-guy types, since the latest iPhone version brought about the same long queues that the original iPhone did, a scant year earlier. We're never satisfied when it comes to technology.

Anyway, the Kindle is intriguing to me. I'm not a book reader (although I'm not anti-book) I'm more of a newspaper and magazine reader. They feed into my TV-inspired short attention span. I have had a daily newspaper delivered to my home since I was a child. Being one of the original latchkey kids, I grew up on The Evening Bulletin as a kid coming home from school - reading the baseball box scores and being updated on the latest Peanuts and B.C. comics. Those were the days.

When I got married (ugh) and moved out of the homestead, I immediately subscribed to The Philadelphia Inquirer. It's a morning paper, as they all are now, and it arrives on my doorstep at no later than 5:00am every day. I'm spoiled. When it doesn't come (because of weather or a new delivery person) I get the shakes like a guy going Cold Turkey off some maintenance drug. It's a sickness, but an excusable one.

The thing that charms me about the Kindle is that I can get my newspaper in paper-less form every morning at the same time. The caveat is that I'd give up my box scores, crossword puzzle and comics. No more Pearls for Swine and Dilbert. They're available online, but at some effort, and not as easily as I'd get them in paper form.

The upside is that I'd save about $200 a year on newspaper delivery versus what the Kindle version would cost. And there's the rub. Marketing people have college degrees in things like Sociology and Human Behavior, and they know that in order to get something (monetary saving) you have to give up something (things you like) and the choices make the money equal to the sacrifice. There is suddenly a lot of thinking to do.

The thinking involves getting my newspaper delivered with all the hard-copy familiarity at a greater cost OR getting the electronic version delivered on the fancy new device and losing some of the things I enjoy from the paper-paper. Decisions.

Why can't we just have what we want?

1 comment:

guess said...

Wasn't it the STONES that said "you can't always get what you want"????? Anyway, coupons, coupons, COUPONS... AND CROSSWORDS... LOL... "so let it be written, so let it be done"... only time will tell OXOXOXO