Monday, January 02, 2012

The siren song of the kindle fire…

Last night, we went to our annual New Year’s Eve gathering with old college friends. One of the friends had gotten a Kindle Fire for Christmas.

Oh. My. Goodness. We’re on the Luddite end of the spectrum for middle class suburbanites. You should see our 11-year-old box tv with the slight high pitched whine whenever you cut it on. =)

So, needless to say, this shiny gadget bowled me over quickly. I played Angry Birds for the first time. (Addictive…. very addictive.) I surfed the web, streamed a movie from Amazon Prime, and read a book. It was like magic under my nimble fingers. I felt myself falling in love….

All the way home, I daydreamed about having this new toy for my very own. I have a birthday coming up, and I had been considering asking for a Kindle, mostly for the love of old books downloadable for free….

A friend had brought her new Nook to the party, too. I looked at it as well, but it barely held my attention for 5 minutes. The only thing it did was show you a book. Boring.

But wait a cotton pickin’ minute…. I thought I wanted a Kindle so I could read books? Right?

I’d been dazzled by a more exciting lover, and I forgot what I really valued in the first place.

We limit our technology in the Suburban Casa by choice. We want less technology around distracting us and our young children. (We’re easily distractable. =) David even deleted simple games off of his work-issued Blackberry when he realized he was playing them at free minutes instead of interacting with us.

We don’t want to introduce our children to the computer until they’re older… say 7 or 8. We’ve decided to limit the amount of media they’re exposed to so that their imaginations and their love of reading quality books will have the best chance to flower at a young age. They will have plenty of time to become fully integrated into the digital/computer age when they’re a little older, and I’m sure they’ll be educating us in all the latest and greatest one day. One of them may even be a computer programmer… who knows? But there is time for that later, and the days of not being dependent on email and the web are short in a modern person’s life. I want them to make the most of those….

So why was I was thinking of clicking “Purchase” for a device that would tempt me to find a video or game for my children to play instead of interacting with them at the dr.’s office (no matter how challenging that might be)? This is a device that would encourage me to spend money on buying apps and videos that we have chosen to limit. We don’t have WiFi or Amazon Prime, so streaming or YouTube viewing isn’t even something we can do for free.

I thought through it, and I realized that I don’t want a Kindle Fire with my conscious mind. I just wanted it with my new-gadget-loving itchy fingers. =) I already spend enough time on the computer reading blogs, updating Facebook, and basically ignoring my small children for minutes here and there. Do I need another distraction? No. The computer in my kitchen is bad enough….

The power of the desire for an impulse purchase is awfully strong sometimes! You find yourself about to get something you don’t even really want/can’t really use because it seems new and fun. Sheesh! =)

So I’ll probably be asking for a Kindle Touch for my birthday. It will enable me to read books… something I rarely feel guilty about. =)


Brandy @ Afterthoughts said...

I could have written most of this myself: I TOTALLY understand!

Part of me thinks that it would be helpful for school for certain things, but I'm afraid I'd plummet off the deep end of surfing the Internet when I have better things to do...

Good thoughts here, Ellen...

Ellen said...


I'm not saying the apps might not be helpful to school, etc. We might integrate some of those LATER.... but I know I don't want it now.

I might become a game junkie, and I don't have the time. =)