• A friend on the West Coast sent me an e-mail the other day that ended, “Give me a call. We never talk.” When I read this, it struck me that the only people I call simply to talk nowadays are Mrs. T (when we’re in different places), my mother, my brother, and Our Girl in Chicago. I communicate with the rest of the world via e-mail or some other form of direct messaging, and I can’t remember the last time that I sent a purely personal letter for any reason other than condolence or to say thanks for a gift or service of some kind.
For me, then, the revolution has happened. I’ve outlived snail mail, dial phones, answering machines, fax machines, and land lines, and have survived into the post-telephonic age. Yet I haven’t fully embraced the new regime, either: I don’t own an iPhone, a Kindle, or a BlackBerry, nor do I send more than one or two text messages a week. At least for the moment, I find that my battered MacBook satisfies all of my communicative needs, and I don’t feel even slightly tempted to embrace any of the aforementioned items. I do just fine with e-mail.
Might this mean that I’ve come to the end of my absorptive capacity for technology–in other words, that I am now officially an old fogy? I doubt it. I am, after all, one of the prophets of the e-book, and I’m sure that I’ll get around to buying one sooner or later. But as much as I appreciate new technologies, I’m not an early adopter. I prefer to let other people work out the bugs, and I’ve never been one to buy shiny toys for aging boys. The last gadgets of any significance to enter my life were my first (and only) iPod, which I bought five years ago, and Miranda, the trusty GPS that Mrs. T and I use when traveling. I bought my stereo and TV in 2002 and my cellphone in 2007.
I’m sure the day will come when I finally decide to purchase…well, probably not an iPad, but the platform after the platform after that. But until then, I expect that I’ll scrape along quite nicely as a transitional figure, a semi-old-fashioned fellow who has neither a land line nor an iPhone. In the meantime, though, don’t call me–I’ll call you. Or not.