Thursday, December 29, 2011

I Won't Go Gentle Into That New Millennium

Two and a half years ago I wrote about my disdain for a cute Asian girl who showed up on TV claiming "I'm a PC and I'm 4 and a half," while she showed off her deft technology skills. This little tyke put me to shame. At the time I was "37 and a Walkman."

I just--finally--got my first iPod this Christmas, exactly 24 years to the day after I got my first (and only) Sony Walkman cassette player. Last night I spent two hours trying to set it up. Download this program, register this gadget, create this account, autosign this legal agreement, oops you're due for updates (really, Apple? three sets of updates in one evening??). And every step contained several subsequent pop-up boxes with various options that required checking and unchecking tiny little boxes.

I don't like this kind of commitment, mainly because I will NEVER find my way back to any particular set of checkboxes. Basically, the choices I made last night will stand forEVER.

It's not that I don't embrace technology, I simply don't want all these blessed questions. My Walkman had the following instructions (in 8 languages): Pop in a cassette and push "play."


That is why I kept it for 18 years.

Don't get me wrong, I love my iPod. I'm so glad to finally be caught up to 2001. I'm just a little awkward with it. I found myself listening to it while walking around the house, holding the thing in my hand. It's what, an inch and half squared and weighs all of one ounce? I could clip it to my earlobe and barely notice it, yet I felt like I had to CARRY it because that's what I know. Even more embarassing is that I *almost* needed to put my glasses on just to read the miniscule touch screen on my nano. I didn't have to READ my Walkman, it had four buttons.

So while I try to reconcile the fact that my entire iPod nano is smaller than the mere belt clip on my old Walkman, I'm reveling in the ease and speed at which I can now search for, find, purchase, download, and listen to songs I haven't heard in years, without having to buy nine other unwanted songs on an album. And without having to sit there while I re-record them onto a tape, hoping the tape doesn't run out in the middle of a song.

Ohh, 2001, you've got your hooks in me.


  1. Bravo, but what can I say? That I'm 43 and am a violin from 1881? Happy 2012 and enjoy your Walkman 2.0...

  2. I think you should commit to another post on this in 6 months. I bought my husband an iPod as a gift in 2008 and he says it changed his life and he could not live without it. I know that sounds pretty extreme, and if you knew him, it would sound even more so.