Ah, technology . . .

Can’t live with it, can’t live without it.

There have been some major technological advances this week at the Calvin Homestead. My husband and I have similar takes on how technology seems to be invading every aspect of our lives. Let’s take, for instance, my husband’s cell phone. He is lucky enough to have a cell phone plan through his employer, which he is allowed to use for personal reasons as well as work-related ones. His old phone was . . . well, there’s no nice way to put it. It was just sad. The cover was cracking. The battery would barely keep a charge. You couldn’t put it on vibrate. Or receive text messages. My husband mocked me mercilessly when I decided to upgrade my cell phone to a Smart Phone, saying that all the extra features were silly. In his mind, all you need a phone to do is make phone calls. Period. End of story.

Except it’s not. His boss decided that he was due for an upgrade (since he’s NEVER had one) and surprised him the day after New Year’s . . . with an iPhone 4. My Luddite husband was in dismay. He had figured out how to answer phone calls, but couldn’t find where to place a call himself. All the icons on the screen were overwhelming to someone who had had the same tired flip phone for ten years. After a few days, though, he learned more about what the phone was capable of and admits that it’s a really cool piece of technology. Even if most of the features are, in his mind, pointless.

And then there’s me. I have finally broken down and bought myself an e-reader. Earlier this week, I became the proud owner of a Kindle Fire. I thought for sure that I would be the last person on earth to ever get one. I hated the thought of e-books. Give me a printed, paper and ink bound book any day. I hate the way that brick-and-mortar bookstores are going out of business, that our Borders is now an empty husk of a building. E-books were the enemy, responsible for the closing down of one of my favorite places to go.

Yet, there were several reasons to break down and actually get the Kindle. I have had two friends now, one already published and one almost published, who are releasing their books strictly in e-book format.  The one who is already published is getting ready to self-publish his second book. My other friend is going through a publisher, working with their e-book line. While I can use the Kindle reading app for my home computer, it would be nice to have something to be able to take the books with me.

So far, I have to admit that the Kindle Fire is pretty nifty.  It makes me wonder why I was so resistant to the idea. My husband is also really enjoying his iPhone, despite swearing up and down that he would never have one. I guess we’re finally becoming modern after all!