Now undeniably in my mid-30’s, I’ve come to accept that there are certain trends that I’m just not going to bother giving a shit about. Just as my Mom will never really understand the internet, there are now cultural innovations that are completely lost on me. Call it Generational Giving-Up.
For example, custom ringtones. Thanks to technology, my cell phone can now chirp out 50 Cent’s “Candy Shop.” But why would I ever want it to do that? If I really liked that song, why not just buy the real thing on iTunes? Do I hate my fellow humans enough that I feel they should be forced to listen to my musical obsession du jour every time a random friend calls?
(And don’t tell me that Top-40 ringtones help you tell that your phone is ringing, rather than someone else’s. It’s called vibrate, people. I never wonder if someone else’s phone is shaking in my pocket.)
Other things I’ve officially given up on:
- SMS abbreviation.
- Decyphering hacker-codez.
- Custom skins, icons and cursors.
One item that had been circling the rim of my mental wastebasket was podcasting. I admired the technology, if not the user interface. I just didn’t see a need for it. I can barely keep up with contents of my TiVo. Having additional stuff banked just didn’t make sense.
Then two things changed.
First, iTunes added podcast support. It’s not perfect, but for a 1.0 version it feels pretty intuitive. Most importantly, it keeps another application off my dock.
Second, I had a kid. And with her, came a revelation: podcasting is for babies.
Or more specifically, podcasting is for parents who have both hands full feeding an infant.
In our house, we’ve set a rule that the baby doesn’t see any TV until she’s at least two, which means no television while feeding. Since it’s almost impossible to read while holding a squirming infant in your lap, mealtime gets a bit dull. But through the magic of podcasting, I can easily catch up on all the back episodes of all the NPR shows I’ve missed.
My favorites include:
So consider me a convert. At least until my daughter progresses to solid food.