Devious devices

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By Sandy Gil

Sunday Dunes

Saturday, August 23, 2014

ABOUT a month ago, the telephone company activated a wifi modem in my little home. I had finally decided, after more than six years of procrastinating, to have 24/7 access to the internet at home! There were only two significant considerations that pushed me to decide. The most important reason, and therefore probably the most mundane to others, was that the modem really looks soooo pretty! It's a small lily-white contraption that lights up like a Christmas tree! Well, the other reason, as my friends had convinced me, was that with my one-year paid leave, I might need some kind of connection with the outside world - lest I transform into a hermit.


I am the proud owner of four and a half (!) wireless yet haywire devices that are capable of accessing the internet. I say haywire literally because each device has its own separate charger, with so many wires that get entangled. For these devices, I have only two confused connectors that play merry-go-round when the devices require a connector for charging.



Allow me to introduce to you my four and a half devices capable of internet connection. My mobile phone (a.k.a. cell phone) is capable of accessing the internet. But I have refused and continue to refuse to activate its mobile data. My mobile phone is strictly for the following tasks: text messaging, calls, calculating and alarm clocks! I am likewise an avid pre-paid subscriber, since given the functions I have assigned to my mobile phone, it is rare that I am able to consume two hundred pesos a month. (Also, I prefer to buy those little pre-paid cards with designs that change every so often.)


Then I have my laptop. Actually, it's not a laptop. Technically, it's called a notebook since it's smaller than a laptop. So I call it my Baby Laptop. Activated to access the internet, this device surely stores more data than the rest of my devices. It is where I dump and save my thoughts, my documents, my work, my leisure (Spider Solitaire, Text Twist and iTunes), etc. - practically the entire history of my life! It also comes with a separate contraption to read or copy disks, as well as a bank to store an intimidatingly enormous amount of memory that I shall never be able to use up in my lifetime.


I once had an iPod Classic where I downloaded my iTunes. As it was fading out of the digital scene, I was embarrassed bringing it out in public, especially while waiting for a flight at the airport. So I got an iPod Touch, which is capable of accessing the internet, to store my music. For some time, it became more convenient to travel with my iPod Touch, instead of lugging around my Baby Laptop. For after all, I could also retrieve my emails from this tiny iPod Touch. Recently, my sister handed me down a tiny music box, the size of two match boxes put together, which can be connected to my iPod. Spotify has been my constant music companion since, when I am at home downstairs; while upstairs, I have a slightly bigger but powerful sounding dock. Today, my iPod Touch is used solely for my music.


About two years ago, I bought an iPad - out of envy and failing eyesight, but really, it was only out of envy! (Hello! Almost everyone I knew had one, so why don't I?) More than my Baby Laptop and the iPod Touch, this device and my mobile phone have become extensions of my body. My iPad is reserved for the really serious stuff like my literary pieces (such as Sunday Dunes column), accessing emails, iMessaging, FaceTime, and of course, downloading the most wonderful addictive GAMES! The latter is the most devious - and lovely - function of my iPad.


Finally, the remaining half device. When I had only the company office for my internet access, I bought a tiny broadband that I could load in order to access the internet at home - only for weekends when there was urgency to access the internet. Now, while I still keep it, I have very little, if any, use for it. That is why it accounts for only half a device.


My relatives and friends have wondered aloud about my four and a half devices vis-a-vis my internet habits - for they all know that I am not a fan of social media. On the other hand, I think it's great to own four and a half wireless devices that can now access the internet 24/7!

And guess what! I don't even have a Facebook or a Twitter account.

Published in the Sun.Star Davao newspaper on August 24, 2014.


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