Leone Kraus

Do I Have Too Many Gadgets?

Filed By Leone Kraus | July 15, 2011 8:00 AM | comments

Filed in: Living, Media
Tags: ipad, iphone

My partner and I spent a majority of the weekend cleaning out the desks, cabinets,NokiaCellPhone_2110.jpg closets and cubbies in our house apartment. Amongst our most-treasured findings from our cleaning spree were old electronics which included an old Verizon flip phone, an ancient Nokia cell phone that kind of resembles a child's toy, and a portable wireless modem for when I travel.

In addition to these device findings, we pulled out empty boxes for our NOOKs, Canon Power Shoot, MacBooks, iPhone, Droid, an old Blackberry, one of the first Pay-as-You-Go phones, and even an alarm clock that talks to you.

Staring down at the pile that lay before us, we could see technology evolving right before our eyes. This left me wondering whether it's possible to have too many.

These Are the Gadgets I Have

Almost daily, I carry with me my iPad (first generation) and iPhone. My iPad comes with free Wi-Fi but I chose to get the lowest level 3G package just in case there was ever a time I wanted to get connected to the Internet but couldn't due to lack of free Wi-Fi. I realize now that this was silly because I also have 3G on my iPhone. Now, I've become comfortable with having the Internet at my fingertips on both devices that I decided not to cancel my iPad 3G service.

In addition, last year, to save money on a bunch of hard cover books, I discovered that if I bought a NOOK, I could purchase many of the books for almost half off the hardcover price. The savings were unbelievable! Because I couldn't keep such luxuries for myself, I purchased one for my partner too. Now, we have two NOOKs. I used mine for a few months before I ended up buying my iPad. Now, I use my iPad as my e-Reader and my NOOK just collects dust.

For our NOOKs, I opted not to fork over the extra dollars for 3G, so we just have Wi-Fi on our devices. This works for us because we can just purchase and download books when we're at home. I don't know about you, but accessing the Internet on a NOOK, (not the NOOK Color) is no small feat. I'm glad I opted to save us a couple dollars by getting the Wi-Fi only model. Because I have the iPad and iPhone, I also have the NOOK app on these devices, keeping us connected to our digital library.

In addition to these I have two laptop computers, one for work and one for personal use. For my gaming fix, I also have a Nintendo DSi XL, which allows me to snap photos and connect to others Nintendo Wi-Fi network.

With all these gadgets, I've often wondered if I'm too connected. It seems that almost every tech gadget comes with some form of Internet connectivity. For instance, I just got a Flip Camera last year for the holiday only to discover a few months later that Cisco was no longer going to support Flip Camera. Apparently, the device was going to fail because it did not allow you to instantly connect to the Internet to upload your videos the way most smart phones do.

How Many Gadgets Do Others Have?

Instead of worrying too much about how overly gadget-y I've become, I decided to do some digging to see if there were others out there who are also gadget obsessed.

According to an Infographic on The Next Web created by Visual Loop, projections show that by 2012, 8% of the population will have either a Tablet (iPad like device) or an E-Reader (i.e. Kindle and NOOK). If you're into this sort of thing, then you know that this type of penetration is pretty amazing, especially since these devices are still so new.

In addition, the U.S. Energy Information Administration reports the following findings from 2009:

  • 76 percent of U.S. homes had at least one computer; 35 percent had multiple computers
  • The average household had 2.5 televisions; over 45 percent of homes have at least one television with a screen size of 37 inches or larger.
  • 79 percent of homes had a DVD player, and 43 percent had a DVR.
  • Nearly a third of all households also had at least four electronic devices, such as cell phones, plugged in and charging at home.

Are You too Connected?

According to my brief research, it seems that I fit the norm for gadget intake and consumption. I'm sure there are more in my personal inventory that I did not take into consideration like my blue tooth headpiece that I never use since the iPhone allows you to use headphones as a headset.

Now it's your turn. What gadgets keep you connected and do you think you have too many?

(Nokia img source)

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5 TV's ( 3 plasma flat screen),2 dvd players, 1 portable dvd player, 1 working VHS (3 broken), 2 desktop computers, 3 laptops and a notebook all on WiFi, 4 cell phones being used with 3G, PS3 and Wii. Collecting dust is a drawer full of phones to donate, an Ipod, Ipad, and book reader of some sort.
This does not include the cases, cords, chargers of all kinds, or the huge box of every cable my wife has collected in the last 10 years.
We also have over 1000 cable stations and Netflix.

Jaime Dunaway Jaime Dunaway | July 15, 2011 10:42 AM

Too many is pretty subjective. I don't have that many electronics myself these days as I've gotten to where I will think hard about how much good that little expensive toy is going to do me. Usually I just end up passing it by. I do have a cell phone and its just a phone, although I do text every great now and then with one guy, but mostly just to annoy him and send silly pictures of my dog or whatever I think might get his goat the best. I even dismantled my favorite desktop not long ago in favor of a newer model that had been sitting around unused. Changing favorite computers is kind of traumatic til things are finally just right on the new one. My laptop is still the one most used, simply because it can go outside with me. I do have a television in all three bedrooms, but they are rarely used, the one in mine is only turned on for a bit at night these days, I try to spend more of my off time outside with the poopee dog, it makes for really nice mornings too:-)

Rick Elliott | July 16, 2011 2:56 AM

YES, there are too many gadgets in your household! Why is it that every-moment contact is deemed necessary by more than the few that professionally need it? Even more why is it that folks have the expectation that someone can "reach out and touch someone" every waking second of the day.
I believe communication with x-numbers of g's is a place we could save quite a bit of cash. I have never sent or received a text, used a phone for Internet access or any of the innumerable services that advertising gets folks to spend hundreds of dollars for. I maybe make one cell phone call a month. If I didn't have health concerns and drive a lot, and family is antsy about emergency situations, I wouldn't even have a cell phone.
Americans are being duped into spending unnecessary money on all these gadgets like we've lured into forking over mounds of cash for things like tap water in an environmentally wasteful plastic container that comes from someone else's tap--the latest fashion fad--more living quarters than needed--a luxury auto. And the list goes on ad nauseum.
Being a minister there's a theological dimension. In the Ten Commandments early there's a prohibition on worshipping "graven images." A good translation from the Hebrew is "manufactured things."
A poem I believe my mother wrote:
Eve Elliott
The ones who seek their happiness
By buying cars and clothes and rings,
Don't seem to know that empty lives
Are just as empty filled with things.

My cell phone is a 2002 vintage Nokia. I have an Apple II, Compatable 486 PC, 5 laptos running anywhere from Win95 to XP, one netbook running windows 7, 3 other desktop machines, 2 Mac pluses, an old Mac laptop. Also an Ipod Touch. Oh, and I fogot my Tandy Model 200 that still works and gets used as a dumb terminal for a TNC (amateur radio stuff - more techno nerd stuff).