UBC Day 8: It’s a Tool, not a TOY!

Don’t get me wrong: I like to have fun as much as the next person.

But the idea of using something as pricey as my computer, the tool with which I make my very living, for something as non-productive as having fun, just … rankles.

Which brings me to my Day 8 topic, a take-off on yesterday’s Guest Post by Brian Whittington of Ideal Solutions Provider, LLC. Brian wrote about business uses of high-speed Internet. So I’m going to write about residential uses.

Note I said “uses,” as in “useful” or “utilitarian.” No nonsense, here.

  • Video monitoring of our homes when we’re away, Functional!
  • Secure online shopping. I know most of you will consider this fun, but I’m the only female born to my family in six generations who does not have a shopping gene. This is most painfully a chore.
  • Video Relay Services – virtually real-time communication between Deaf and hearing users (no more TTYs for time-consuming typed conversations over the phone lines). This one is both fun and functional. Yay!
  • Fewer delays in downloading important things like e-mail, files, and … movies. OK, chalk one up for fun.
  • Less expensive local and long distance phone service, useful for calling service companies (a/c, electrician, plumber, landscapers, pool guy), and … talking to friends near and far, phoning in to win tickets at the local radio station, playing pranks on the neighbors (“Is you refrigerator running? You’d better catch it!”). OK, OK. FUN.
  • Real-time video conversations (Skype or over the web cam) with family and friends. Depending on your family, mostly fun. This is not working out the way I expected…
  • Ability to watch cable shows, talk on the phone, and surf the web on a single connection — all at the same time. REAL fun!
  • Remote control of our lights, security system, even some appliances (start the oven from the office, and have dinner ready when we get home!). Much as I appreciate the functional aspects of this, I get such a charge out of the idea of flipping the lights on and off and turning on the stove from halfway across town, that this just seems like nothing but fun to me. Hmmm…
  • Play games in real time with friends located anywhere in the world. Try as I might, I can’t make this come out as anything but fun.

Aw, crud. I put it at 3 for function, and 7 for fun. The curmudgeon in me frowns

But wait! Is quality of life directly related to how much fun we have in life? So doesn’t that actually make “having fun” … functional? Yes! Chalk up a big win for “it’s a tool, not a toy!”

Thank you for watching me wade through that rationalization!

Till tomorrow …


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About Billie Noakes

The writer you want for crisp, clean copy.
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