Audio CDs first became commercially available in 1982. I didn’t have a CD player until I got one as a surprise Kwanzaa gift in 1995; up until that point, I was quite satisfied with my massive tape collection. Not only were tapes recordable, but I was convinced that CDs were simply a ploy on the part of the record company to make consumers spend more money. You paid $16.99 for your Boyz II Men albulm, I paid $9.99 and we got the same music. Just saying. Even though I had a CD system at home, I had tape Walkmans until the year 2000 (the CD ones were just too darn fragile…and my RCA tape player was only $7.99! I went through like 18 of them).
I also hesitated when it came to switching from the pager that allowed you to just look down and see your messages to the “fancier” one that required you to remove it from the holster and displayed the message on the side. For all my web savvy now, I was actually a little nonplussed by the internet when it first became available, though that may have been tied to the limiting nature of relying on AOL free trial hours and Juno’s free-yet-limited service, which both kept our house semi-connected. To this day, I haven’t been able to part ways with my VHS tape collection. And let’s not talk about my confusion over smartphones in college, a place I arrived to with the classic blue Nokia (“We aren’t doctors! Why do we need the internet at all times?“). Currently, I am being left behind by Kindles, iPads and Android phones as I cling to my dilapidted Blackberry and laptop for safety and security.
Soon, over fifty percent of the US’s mobile phone users will own smartphones, which means that many people are either shaking their techphobia or were lucky enough not to be so afflicted. While I think trend-hopping for trend-hopping’s sake is kinda wack, I admire people who are able to learn new technology in a short amount of time, especially when it comes to devices that improve your quality of life. It’s almost like being able to speak a new language. I’m sure I’ll have to step my game up eventually, especially considering that my father has an iPhone 4 and has been bugging me to get one so we can do Face Time.
What about you, Clutchettes and Clutch Gents? Are you early adopters when it comes to new technology? Or are you in the back of the line waiting until everyone’s already on board?