New gadgets can be fun, but do we need them all?

Associated Press
The Apple iPhone armband.

Cell phones, laptops, game systems: What do all these gizmos have in common? They are the expensive, seemingly necessary gadgets designed to keep us connected to our music, our responsibilities and our friends.


Since the Internet became widely available in 1995, it seems that advances in everyday electronics followed in fast-paced suit.

As the main target of the media, we teenagers are especially sensitive to these changes in technology. We see these developments as a way to make sure our connections get better and better as we buy newer versions of older favorites.

We want fast, high graphic, mega-gigged gadgets, and we want them to look good; the smaller and glossier, the better.

Though progress is a cool thing, I can't help but feel as though it's out of control. For example, my latest object of fascination and loathing is the newly released iPhone. Internet, movies, maps, iPod, phone - why do we try to cram so much into one small device?

What's the point of having an iPhone if you have a television, a computer and a phone book?

Collier McLeod, 16, a junior at Augusta Prep, agrees with me.

"I already have everything the iPhone includes," she said. "Why buy the exact same thing?"

How much is enough, and where does the duplication end?

Perhaps one day, and it looks like it's coming soon, we will no longer use the paper form of the Yellow Pages, newspapers and magazines.

Maybe we will not want to pay for a land line phone and cable television. Until that time, we will have to decide just how much of the world we want to have in the palm of our hands.

Maryclaire Regan, 15, is a junior at Augusta Preparatory School.



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