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Father's Day Gift Dilemma Leads to Technology Lesson

Yesterday afternoon, I had to show properties for a few hours, and my wife kindly took the opportunity to take our four kiddos shopping for a Father's Day gift. Her destination was Fry's Electronics. If you're not familiar with Fry's (I have no idea if they are nationwide), it's basically a giant warehouse with every gadget, game, and TV that you can imagine. They sell phones, and speakers, and computers, books, CD's, cables, you name it.

It's one of my very favorite stores. Frankly, it's difficult for me to go to Fry's without getting anything at all. This is what's known as an exercise in willpower.

While she was shopping, her first impulse was to buy me a movie or DVD series, then she realized that with Netflix, I can get pretty much any movie I want, many of which can be streamed directly to the TV from the internet, or enjoyed on the computer.

Then, she thought of getting me a CD. However, she knows that I have an iPod, which makes CD's less appealing overall since it's so easy to buy songs via iTunes.

How about a new book? Well, I have a Kindle, which has an application that allows me to read from my laptop, iPhone, or the device itself.

She settled on a gift certificate. :-)

My point in sharing this is to illustrate the fact that technology has completely changed the way we consume information and entertainment. I recognize that this isn't exactly an earth-shattering concept, but this was a real world example of how quickly things have changed in our household.

I remember when I had a massive CD collection, and lots of DVDs, too. Although we have steadily purged books, we still have roughly 1,000 of those in the house. I haven't counted, so it could be more.

Prior to that, we had cassettes (sold or gave them all away) and albums (kept many of those since we have a working turntable and some of the classic ones are worth money).

I guess I just find it intriguing and exciting to realize how little space we have to use to entertain and inform ourselves now. We can even screen out many of the ads on "regular" television with Tivo/DVR devices.

So, here are my questions for you:

  • What item(s) other than the internet and your cell phone can you not live without which didn't exist 10-15 years ago?

  • What do you foresee as indispensable 10 years from now that is in formative stages now?

I would love to hear your responses. Thanks for reading!

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