Daily prompt: Same same but different

Daily Prompt
Going Obsolete
Of all the technologies that have gone extinct in your lifetime, which one do you miss the most?

Nothing’s actually obsolete unless it didn’t work in the first place, in which case, what’s to miss? But I must say there are days when I wish they’d leave things alone for a minute or two before they fix what ain’t broke and develop it into something bigger and better (or smaller and the same but more complicated), guaranteed to cost more and automatically obliterating any hope of keeping the older version in working order.

Take my cordless phone, for example. I’ve had it for almost 20 years (shock horror!), it’s far simpler than the modern versions and not prone to the tantrums of the prima donnas boasting features I don’t want and wouldn’t use. But its battery is getting tired. Will I be able to replace it? Of course not. The bright young things in electrical shops will look at me with curled lips and raised eyebrows and produce technological wonders to take its place, costing me money I don’t have, and probably lasting half the time.

It’s not that I don’t have enough marbles left to cope with the new versions. I do. But my marbles have far more interesting things to occupy them than working out the functions of Bluetooth, Smartphones, iPads, built-in digital recorders and so many remotes you need a special stacker beside the couch to cope with them. Particularly when I know that by next year, they’ll all be outdated.

The truth is, it’s no longer a case of us mastering technology. Technology has now mastered us. It’s an end in itself, rather than a means to an end. People queue outside Apple stores for days to be among the first to own the newest whatever. Will it enhance their lives? Yes. Because that’s what it’s all about, for them: have the latest whiz-bang or die.

So no, I’m not hankering after any technology that’s been and gone. What I miss is the idea that something might last awhile before you have to replace it.

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6 Responses to Daily prompt: Same same but different

  1. bkpyett says:

    Obsolescence is the order of the day, unfortunately. When I think of the scrimping and saving that went on post war and things were made to last. Loved your post.

  2. I’m with you, Helen, all the way. I will hold on to my “vintage” 2004 cell phone until they no longer make the battery.
    Reiner wanted to upgrade our TV. I was happy with the status quo… I usually vote with saving money, especially “if it ain’t broke.” Two weeks later, new television and both of us arguing over who was going to program it. It stayed un-watched for weeks. Neither of us had the gumption to attend to the pitifully meager instruction manual.

  3. Martha Kennedy says:

    Amen, “But my marbles have far more interesting things to occupy them than working out the functions of Bluetooth, Smartphones, iPads, built-in digital recorders and so many remotes you need a special stacker beside the couch to cope with them. Particularly when I know that by next year, they’ll all be outdated.” My students are always stunned when I’m ahead of them on the technology curve — the difference is, it doesn’t interest me. Good post! (OK so I had a hard time typing post for some reason. First I typed “pot” then “pox”…)

  4. Pox is probably right. A pox on them all!

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