Sunday, December 21, 2008

Just Because It's Christmas Doesn't Mean I Have To Be Jolly (Although I Am Trying)

Christmas shopping this year was brutal for--oh, so many reasons--and at one point, I just wanted to go buy one of those electronic bullhorns and stand in the middle of the mall and yell the old Susan Powter mantra Stop The Insanity, but I knew that while everyone would hear me, no one would listen.

The item that really sent me over the edge was this, the Digital Photo Watch. Holy crap, you're thinking, in an age of thong underwear in the little girls' department, this is what sent Nance over the edge?

Yes. And here is why.

I'm becoming increasingly irritated by the mania our society has for Multi-tasking Items. It's bordering on the insane. Just look at cell phones. It's not enough for you to be able to just place and receive telephone calls. Good heavens, how archaic! Cell phones must also have keyboards so that you can type inane messages like idk, cu l8r @ moms, k? . They must also be Internet browsers, email centers, messengers, mp3 players, high resolution digital cameras and video recorders, sound recorders, and GPS devices. For the record, I have had the same phone for 6 years; it does none of those things, and I am fine with that. Pretty soon, cell phones will devolve to the point where the advertisements will read: This technological breakthrough comes with an optional telephonic voicer that can plug into your cellular device so that you can both make and receive calls!

You read it here first.

The Digital Photo Watch is plain stupid. Really, what is it for? Who the hell is going to say, "Want to see some photos of my grandchildren? Here, look at my watch. The pictures are only an inch and a half square, and they have, of course, those annoying hour and minute markers and hands on them, but you'll get the idea. And there are 60 of them, so I'll hold my arm up here for about 4 minutes, no problem." How horrid. For everyone concerned. A watch is a portable time device. It can be a fashion accessory, sort of. But to think that you're going to use it to effectively haul around a stack of pictures of anything is just idiotic.

People need to stop making me think I have to be doing eleventy billion things at once. I am never going to watch a movie on my computer. (That, to me, is just silly. A big, epic film on my little tiny computer screen. Sometimes I don't even like watching them on my large-ish television at home. I feel like I'm missing the experience.) I'm never going to type on my phone. EVER. I'm never going to look at photos on my watch. I'm never going to show a movie in my automobile. I'm not even going to use my microwave to disinfect a sponge! I'm never going to do those things. Period. There's just a lot of really distracted, unfocused people wandering around doing half-assed stuff, and they think they're multi-tasking effectively. They're not.
They're inventing silly, random crap that other people are buying because they're too busy doing ten things at once, probably gabbing on their cell phones, to notice what goofy gifty they're loading into their shopping bags.


  1. TELL it! I can't even handle blenders and mixers with more than one attachment.

  2. Anonymous12:11 AM

    I often think half of the insanity in our lives today is having to cope with so much technology and so many gadgets. Thoreau had it right: simplify, simplify, simplify. Unfortunately, the tech wizzards think that means putting every possible function on one gadget. I once wrote an essay on time-saving devices and how we have less and less time the more time-saving devices there are. And the photo-watch? Just one more dumb thing to upload information to, and, yeah.... wanna spend 4 minutes looking at my wrist-pics, lol? (Don't you just *know* there are a bizillion teenage girls who will want their boyfriends' faces on one of those.)

    Next stop? I am predicting car license plates with digital photos on HD LCD. So we can use a remote to scroll through people's photos while we're stopped in traffic. Gone is the boring bumper sticker announcing "My kid is an honor student at Freakwood Elementary." We'll actually get to gaze upon this eighth wonder of the world.


    I'm done.

    I have a *few* more essays to finish grading. Why doesn't somebody invent a damn wristwatch that scans and grades papers?! Now THAT is something you could stuff my stocking with!

  3. Does blogging and watching "Total Recall" count as multi-tasking? I hope so.

    I don't have any need to have an mp3 player in my phone, either, but my husband has one and it's nice to listen to music in the car without having to remember to bring an mp3 player AND a phone. And in some light, his phone takes better pictures than our digital camera. I find this all very frustrating, because I am at heart a technophobe, and only adapt under pressure and protest.

    I disinfect my sponge in the dishwasher, just FYI. And I wash clothes in my washing machine. ;)

  4. J.@jj--only if it's all happening on your computer. and if it is--STOP IT IMMEDIATELY. (and i throw my smelly sponges away. it's a little indulgence i allow myself.)

    Ortizzle--teenage girls or boys with that watch is an angle i hadn't even thought of. WHY ARE YOU THINKING OF WORK AT HOME? STOP IT IMMEDIATELY. (and i hope you are using a broad rubric for those essays to assist you in grading them.)

    Mary G.--remember when food processors first came out and had all those ridiculous attachments? i never use anything but one blade. period. TOSS ALL THAT CRAP IMMEDIATELY. IT TAKES UP ROOM. (it's astonishing how much better you'll feel. even if you just store it in the basement or garage if you're scared to really pitch it.)

  5. No worries Nance. My husband was watching Total Recall, which is good for a laugh but not my favorite movie by a long shot, so I was blogging. But he was using the TV. :)

  6. First, thongs in the little girls department? Tell my you jest.

    Next, I completely agree with you about the picture watch. I felt the same way when I saw the first keychain sized one. I don't want anyone chasing me around with 65+ pictures of anything or anyone!

    Lastly, I've never deluded myself about multi-tasking. I can do ONE thing at a time, that's it. I'm the queen of post-it notes because if I don't write down what needs to happen later, it won't get done. I've got lists everywhere.

    PS: Love the Santa bunny!

  7. LOL on your conclusion ... yep, that's probably pretty true. People with lot of money who are way over the top on stuff and the multi-tasking, "stay in touch" concept will have to have this watch. Normal, sane people will not.

    Multi-tasking is a complete misnomer anyway. Our brains only allow us to focus on one thing at a time. We might flit back and forth between several things, but we do a far worse job than if we'd focused on one thing. Granted sometimes multi-tasking can't be helped as when handling more than one toddler's immediate needs, but, again, for the most part we're far better off if we focus on one thing and get it done before we move on to the next. I enjoyed reading the comments on that article you linked, Nance. I especially took note of the expat in Italy commenting on how much slower life in general is there. I know when we visit other countries or European friends visit us, we see how non-Americans move at a much slower pace, so we start slowing down ourselves ... it's wonderful.

    Look, companies just sit around trying to come up with whatever will catch your fancy because it's something the people "who have everything" don't yet have. If people get one, they'll use it for about a month and then it will be forgotten. When was the last time you saw anyone have their digital picture frame fired up and rolling ... uh, right after last Christmas? The best place for digital photos is the computer and if you want scrolling digital photos, set them up on your screen saver or in a video/slideshow file for sharing.

    Count me in as one who had an old school cell phone. No camera even. It works just fine.

    OMG, love the Santa Bunny!!!

  8. I saw that watch too. I thought it was weird. Really weird. I do, however, appreciate my cell phone that does lots of other things too. Although I must admit that most of what it can do I don't use. Owell. Merry Christmas. Super cute bunny!!!

  9. Love the Christmas bunny! Merry Christmas + Happy New Year! ; )

  10. Anali--I found a couple of cute Santa bunnies, but this one looked the cuddliest. Have a great holiday.

    Nina--Hope little Micah can enjoy the holidays without too much scratching. And as far as the gadgety cellphone, ask yourself: would you really MISS the stuff aside from BASIC PHONING? I'm betting no.

    Shirley--I think it's very telling that the link for the Digi-Photo watch is Brookstone. They are the Masters of Dumb Gifts. Like Air Mall. NO ONE NEEDS THAT CRAP. And you're right; it's been my experience with my foreign exchange students that they all talk about the same three things: our houses are too big, we have too many choices at all our stores, and we ARE IN WAY TOO MUCH OF A HURRY.

    J.--Sadly, I am not kidding. I have seen thongs in the little girls department, along with fishnets. DO NOT GET ME STARTED; I MEAN IT. and i am all over the Post-Its with you. Rick says i have developed a horrid habit of interrupting him, and i maintain that it is because if i don't say things THE MOMENT i think of them, they are gone forever. multi-tasking is but laugh for me.

    j.@jj--isn't AH-nuld in that one? are you Kallyfohniahns required to watch his stuff? LOL LOL.

    **and I'm so glad all of you love the Christmas Bunny! I like to keep you happy at the Dept.!**

  11. I think that I would truly miss the camera/video funtions on my cell phone. I love being able to snap footage of my little one whenever and where ever. I also have learned to like text messaging. Especially at those moments when you need to tell someone something but dont really feel like speaking to them. For example, when you need to communicate with people who can be calisthenic...Yeah, I know, You love how I slipped that in there :)

  12. I am much too lazy to multi-task, so I'm good.

    Merry Christmas to Nance, your family, and the bunnies, of course!

  13. Gina--I love how you own your shortcoming. Merry Christmas to you as well. Glad to see you back here at the Dept.

    Nina--Avoidance of the Calisthenic may be the sole reason I could advocate the text message. Yet, I will still never do it. The fact that "text" has become a verb irritates me greatly. And yes, I am adding your usage of my new word to the list of things I love about you.


Oh, thank you for joining the fray!

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