I haven’t seen the television show Sesame Street in years, but a snippet of it flashed through my mind this morning as I sat down to write this slice. As I remember it, there was a time during each episode where it was announced which letter and number sponsored the show. “Today’s show is brought to you by the letter “r” and the number “3.” Or something like that...it’s definitely fuzzy.
Today’s slice, with a nod to Ernie and Bert, was brought to me (and is brought to you) by cables. Cables.
I’m not the oldest slicer you might read today, but I’ve been around long enough to remember getting a pager. (Don’t judge.) Part of maintaining that little gem of technology was making sure it had a fresh battery. A single AAA battery was tucked into the back, and it lasted for quite a while as I remember it. Then...a phone. 300 minutes on the plan because I’d be doing some traveling. In addition to the phone, we got a charger with a built in cable--no more buying batteries.
Technology has, of course, marched on, and our usage has tried to keep pace. About the time my wife and I both got phones (we shared the first one; one of us used the pager), we moved on to flip phones. Then I got an early smart phone, and then she did. We both started to “upgrade” at the same time, and within the last few years we’ve moved into tablets as well. (We were late adopters, and if those wily service providers didn’t start to bundle them into plans we might not be where we are today.)
Then, miracle of miracles, my school district started to make a more concerted effort to get handheld and portable tech into the classrooms. Enter the Chromebooks and more IPads.
My wife and I are empty-nesters, but at any given time we might have 10 or 15 computers in our house. 10 or 15! The desktop, the laptop, our kindles, our phones (probably our most powerful computers at the rate we upgrade everything else), our tablets, my school tech that comes home to install apps, and even a smartwatch thrown into the mix. Okay, this is a little bit crazy.
And the cables. Oh my gosh, the cables. My wife just went Apple (I still love her dearly), so our chargers aren’t compatible and the number of them effectively doubled. I can’t throw away an old charger (what if we need it?!), so we’ve got boxes with “extras” on three different shelves, sitting there with a few loose tendrils of plastic-sheathed conductors peeking out of each one.
Stop. The. Madness.
Okay, I’ve gotten up to let the dog out (the dog, by the way, who is not wearing a smart collar) and I’ve calmed down a little bit. Now I’m thinking about my next slice, and pondering the idea that over the last 13 days I’ve composed on no fewer than 7 different devices running 4 different operating systems uploading through hard lines, WiFi, and cellular service. And commenting on the slices written by others? It seems like every time I do so another old blogging profile (Google, Blogger, Wordpress, Tumblr, Weebly, etc.) of mine is popping up. Sigh.
If you’ll excuse me, I’m going to go recharge myself...