Tuesday, April 15, 2014

my choice of technology is impacting more than i thought

by kirk r gray

i would classify myself as a tech-nerd... there i said it...and the journey to this conclusion starts with the acceptance of this reality.

as i was walkng to breakfast this morning brainstorming for this blog post i had this aha moment... i'm a tech-nerd. but not just being able to happily say this but to look at my tech purchases and how they influence the other purchases in my life. and as much as i hate to admit it, i'm becoming a slave to my technology.

here's why i say that...
i'll start with what i'm normally equipped with: my htc one (m7) and my ipad mini.

my htc one, unlike the mini-sized phones of the late 90's and mid nulls, it's a brick. but i love it. my most favorite phone of all time is the motorola startac, that sucker was compact and did what it supposed to do - make calls, send and receive texts. it did it without fail...but it also did one more thing, it made my belt the right size. when i was carrying it, i had lost a lot of weight, was in great shape, but i couldn't get things to fit properly. i wore my phone right up front, behind my belt and it made everything fit right (and cause of the blinking light it drew attention to my waist line in the clubs - but that's another story..). today my htc one lives in my pocket, or on a holster when i'm in the gym. it has made me one of those people who is constantly connected to the world at large because of blinkfeed - and it's the first android device i have stuck with (you can read about my change to android in a previous post). but because i'm on it all the time the battery life isn't great. so i'm forced to carry a bunch of accessories with me - an external battery and a charging cable, and since public places haven't installed usb based outlets, a plug.

the ipad mini is my go to mobile computer now. but apps aren't always a great substitute for the web based interfaces for software...meaning the blogger app is great for free thinking posts, but if i want to include graphics and other goodies in these posts i need to use the web interface. but the on-screen keyboard eats up real-estate and makes the web interface cumbersome. so i purchased a new trent clamshell for it (not pictured). it makes my ipad a mini netbook which is great, and while adding functionality it doesn't add a lot of weight. but, the ipad won't fit in my pocket.

on top of these two must have appliances, i'm also a google glass explorer. and just like my phone, the battery life on that device sucks for me. essentially as an explorer, you're a pr agent for google, so you're stopped by the curious and asked to show it off, which is part of being an early adopter. i did invest in the prescription lenses, and just like the regular glass, the arms don't fold - so either you wear them when they are dead or you put them in the huge case that google provides. and when i mean huge, i mean cigar-box sized case, but it also carries the charger, the stereo earbuds, and the mono-earbud.

with all of the radiation that these devices produce, it's a wonder that when i'm angry i don't turn into the hulk...

but like i said i'm a tech-nerd. so here is what else i've been forced to buy because of these always on always connected devices. a man bag... yes the tech i use, and others use are giving rise to the man-bag. but not the european "m-urse" that we've all joked about. but back-packs -- mini stylish backpacks. in the past i carried a swiss gear slim pack, that i loved, but i out grew it. it isn't wide eough for the glass case. i'm now carrying an oakley bag that i love.

left to right: oakley back-pack, 11" macbook air & charger,
external battery pack, google glass and case, htc phone &
usb extension cord, htc one (m7), external battery case
for the phone, ipad charger & ipad mini (with a cover, not
the keyboard).
next came not just the phone external battery, which is really a case, but a true external battery. even more of a brick, and i kid you not is probably as heavy as my first laptop. but it has the ability to charge the phone, the ipad, and my glass at least once. while it will use the charging cables for those devices, it is recommended that you use it's own cable for charging it when plugged into the wall. technology influencing the purchase of additional technology.

next, fashion forward thinking... okay, i'll admit this one too, as a gay man i'm not concerned with fashion. sure i like labels, but i like to eat, so i say this to the designers targeting the gay-community: "you make very little to fit me, i shouldn't have to ask in your stores 'does this comes in adult sizes'".

my style is being dictated by my technology...cargo pants are a staple in my closet. i have to have pockets - they are places to put my tech and to carry it without looking like a donkey getting ready to climb the andes. pockets also give me comfort-zone and a place to put my hands, when i don't know what to do with them - sorry mom, i know all those years you kept saying get your hands out of your pockets, but i have too.

the same goes for buying coats and jackets - pockets and no hoods, the hood only gets in the way of my backpack. so i wear baseball caps, a lot - i like them, and i'm going through a "i want long hair" phase again, and can't find the right product to keep it back so the ball cap is my go to male scrunchy.

so there it is, technology doesn't just influence what i want to interface with, it also impacts other decisions - my fashion, my comfort, and really my appearance.

i'd love to hear what it is your tech is influencing - fashion, how you work, what you carry with you, or even if you think your ability to have kids has been impacted by your tech purchases. the skies the limit.

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