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Men and Boys and the Price of Their Toys
In My Opinion...
Wednesday, January 4, 2012 • Posted January 4, 2012

I'm a nerd. I've got so many "gadgets" and so many cables and chargers, I even confuse myself with all the wires and connectors that litter my office and bedroom.In just the immediate area of my desk at the office right now, I have: my desktop PC; my Kindle Fire; my Blackberry Playbook; and, my laptop PC. All of those are in a semicircle within easy reach of my chair. And those are just the "toys" I have immediately at hand.I also had, until yesterday, an iPod touch, as well as a portable stereo player that it fit in. I decided that I had enough little gadgets at my desk, so I've "gifted" the iPod to Aaron as a birthday gift. I figure a ten-year-old is ready for a little bit of geeky technology, and I'm pretty sure he'll figure out how to use it quickly enough.Which still leaves me with all of my remaining pieces of electronic gadgetry.The desktop PC has all of the software that I use to layout the newspaper. It is where I keep all of the stories for future editions, and all of the photos that I'll use in upcoming articles.The Kindle Fire has music, magazines and books. I also use it for my Netflix movies.The Blackberry Playbook connects to my phone and has all of my contacts, calendar, email and more.My laptop PC is my "office away from the office," and has a few nerdy extras that I use when traveling.What is it about all of our gadgets that makes us love them so much? Before anyone starts making fun of my nerdy items, they might want to take a look around their own lives and take stock. I have friends that have game cameras, card readers for those cameras, night-vision goggles, scopes, gun-racks and more. Still gadgets, just of a different type.And, lest the ladies start laughing at men and their toys, they might want to first look around their own homes, starting in the kitchen. There are coffee makers, toasters, graters, blenders, pans, pots, knives and serving dishes. And, each of those come in different styles, sizes, colors and with different options.Several years ago, I made a decision to start trying to simplify my life. That included trying to cut down on all the unnecessary gadgets that I had come to rely on for my daily habits. That didn't last long.We all look for little ways to make our lives easier. We have a tie and belt organizer so that we don't have to hunt through crowded racks for the items we want. We get a universal remote to replace the five that run our television, satellite box, DVD player, video game and stereo. Even in our bathrooms, we have fog-free mirrors, over-the-shower racks for our shampoo and soap, organizers for our perfumes and lotions, and we can't forget all the tweezers, clippers, files and other implements.Even the folks who "get back to nature" can't get away from gadgets. There's freeze-dried meals, water purifiers, solar cookers and water heaters, air mattresses, GPS devices, cooking gear and more. Getting back to nature seems a lot more complicated than it once was, and it seems to require a lot more devices than it once did.I found the best way to get away from it all often requires using those devices, and then slowly peeling them away. We use our gadgets to get us where we want to be, then we turn them off, one by one. We leave the phone turned off. We avoid looking at the laptop, we cook using only the most basic gear, we prepare the campsite so that we don't need air mattresses, and we fish using a bamboo pole with a bobber and a hook.Once we get rid of the devices for a while, we can appreciate them more once we return to civilization. But, for at least a brief moment, life can be simple and uncluttered. I'll worry about simplifying my life later.

It’s all just my opinion.

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