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Wednesday, January 25, 2017

What Do I Need That For?

What Do I Need That For?

I remember in the fifties and even the early sixties, my grandma had a house at the Jersey Shore.  We visited often for a week or for weekends.  Grandma Gus (mom’s stepmom) did not have a phone. We often asked,

“Grandma Gus, why don’t you get a phone (probably cost about $1.25 a month).”

“What do I need that for?  There is a pay phone at the end of the block.”

“But what if we want to call you?”

“What call, just come, I’m here and we have lots of rooms…send a letter or telegram if it is important.”

I’m pretty sure no one sent telegrams anymore.

We made fun of Grandma Gus for her “What do I need that for?” philosophy.

My mom never wanted cable TV.

“What do I need that for, I get three channels for free?”

We made fun of mom for her “What do I need that for?” philosophy.

Well, now I find myself doing the same thing.

My son tells me I should get a Bluetooth to talk on the phone in the car.

“What do I need that for, if it’s really important I can pull over the side of the road.”

I’m told we don’t need a phone land line anymore, the cell phone is all you need.

“I don’t trust the cell phone, on 9-11 lots of cell phones didn’t work.”

“Dad, if cell service is out there won’t be many land lines left for you to call.”

“I like my land line!”

“You should get Netflix, they have all the movies you watch and new original TV shows.”

“What do I need that for?  I can buy the DVD’s and I get tons of movies on TV now.”

“You should get a GPS so you never get lost in the car.”

“What do I need that for, my wife knows every road in New Jersey?”  I do use the GPS since I found it worked on the cell phone and when I drive alone.

“New cars have back-up cameras”

“What do I need that for, the rearview mirror still works.”

Every time someone tells me I should use new technology, I am convinced I don’t need it.

I am still convinced I don’t need most of today’s new gadgets.  Even as I sit in bed typing on my laptop computer, watching cable TV on a “smart” TV, with a cell phone by my side in case someone calls, while my coffee maker stands ready to brew when I pop in a k-cup and I can heat up leftovers for lunch in the microwave, which I can eat by the warmth of our gas fireplace which goes on at the press of a button.  If I need to go to the store the garage door opens automatically when I press a button and I can enjoy perfect reception on satellite radio on the way to the store where I don’t need cash to make my purchase, and if I do, I can get it at the ATM machine. 

So many nice things to have that didn’t use to exist, but still, when I think of it,

“What do I need them for?”


  1. I tossed my 'smart' phone out the truck window the day I retired, and have had a flip cell phone since, and am quite happy with it. I do have this little 'roku' thing that lets me stream lots of movies from netflix, amazon, hbo, etc, and have stopped cable.
    I agree with the rest, and am unsettled by my kids and grandkids addiction to the smartphones that are constantly in front of their faces.

  2. Our Rogue has the back up cameras. I'm old school. I was taught to look behind me when I'm backing up. I can't imagine ever using the back up cameras and feeling comfortable about it. However, I might take the car that can parallel park, that I haven't been able to ever master.


  3. I have yet to have a smart phone, I really don't want one. I do like a lot of the newer things, but the newest things are hard to figure out and I am done trying to learn new gadgets.

  4. My brain gets confused with all the technical things it has to work out. I do have a smart phone but am SERIOUSLY thinking of getting rid of it. I mean, why do I have it on all day when nobody rings. I can read email later, it doesn't have to be read the minute it arrives. Does it? I am currently trying to reset the password on Apple and getting in a right mess. Damn the technology.

  5. Something I say often these days is "I don't need one and probably wouldn't use it."

  6. Many of these technologies like trading the automobile for the horse become essential while more difficult and expensive to maintain!

  7. If it's nice to have and i will use it regularly, fine. If it's just a fun new gadget that i may or may not ever use or need, i'll leave it to those whose lives it will improve.

  8. I totally get tis post. In reality, none of really need any of modern technology but it sure is nice to have.

  9. I wouldn't mind one of those back up cameras but we still don't have a 'smart phone'. There's something disturbing about mechanics that are smarter than people.

  10. My car is bluetooth. When I got a new phone, I didn't "synch" it. Too distracting.I haven't made the switch to streaming movies, in spite of my granddaughter's urging. I don't need it.

  11. I prefer to think I just don't want to be a guinea pig. Let someone else try it and if it gets good reviews, then I'll give it a try. Google maps on my smart phone is useful, as are back up cameras and bluetooth (built in to my car radio). I gave up a land line years ago, as well as cable TV. Instead I have an Amazon Firestick with some apps that gets me pretty much every thing I want without a monthly fee. And of course, I'm a big fan of indoor plumbing. ;)

  12. Your son sounds a lot like our son, who is always trying to get us hooked on modern gadgets we don't need and can't operate.

  13. I totally understand. have 7 electronic devices under my tv. When something doesn't work and I call customer service I am usually asked to crawl around on the floor or check the outside wiring before they will consider sending someone out. Fortunately, I rely on the old school fix from my IT days which is to unplug, drink a cup of coffee, and plug it back in. Works 99% of the time. And I laugh every time it does.

  14. We have all those things, but we still have a landline. I'm not thinking for log, but still.

    We do turn into our grandmas and grandpas don't we? Good for us.

    Have a fabulous day. ☺

  15. Heh. I get this. Totally.

    We didn't even get a microwave until the late 90s, and our home phone had a cord at least into the 90s, before we got a cordless one (but we still keep a 'cord phone' in the junk drawer, 'cuz the cordless ones don't work when the power is out).

    I'm right on the edge of getting rid of our 'land line', but for too many people, that's the only number they have for us.

    And I damn near lost my job over my company-issued smart phone. So now I have the only flip-phone in the whole company. . .

  16. And don't even get me started on the 'sound technologies' that make me rebuild my music collection every ten years, 'cuz I can't find a turntable/casette player to play it on (and that doesn't even include some of my favorite old vinyl recordings that aren't even available on CD). Heck, I can barely find CD players anymore. . .

  17. I use,"what do I need that for" a lot. The fact that I recently upgraded to a flip phone might sum up how slow I am to cave to the pressures of new and exciting.

  18. When buying my car(which has a backup camera), I mentioned to the salesman that it would take some getting used to using the camera instead of the rear view mirror. He emphasized that I should still use my mirror every time. .??? So, yes, what do I need the camera for?

    I'm still holding out on not getting a smartphone!

  19. Just more gadgets to go haywire so I can't use them anyway!

    1. We want something that works & what we get is technology!!

  20. That is a very good question. I could have saved so much money and so much room if only I had asked the question, what do I need that for.

  21. I like all of "smart" toys but I do often think about all of the young people who would absolutely melt if we had some kind of a rolling black out that lasted for days. So many would be lost...

  22. I'm not an early adopter but I'm not a late one either. I have to see what's in it for me. Then I try to wait till the prices go down after the new frenzy wears off.

  23. I drive a '97 Pontiac. Only extra in it is a radio. Hell, they don't even make Pontiacs anymore. Still have a landline and no cell. I like microwaves, though.

  24. I'm fairly fond of modern technology. I used to say "What do I need that for?" about refrigerators with automatic ice makers. When I got one, it took about 7 seconds to get used to it. Humbling experience.

    We still have a "landline" (because phone calls to Germany on a cell phone are more expensive), but it's an internet-based phone with the funny name of Ooma. Phone calls to overseas are something like 2 cents/minute. I remember when they used to be $1.20/minute, in the good ole days.

  25. I wish smartphones were never invented. But then I wouldn't be reading and responding to this post. I hate technology but I use and rely upon it. I hate that my three kids have smartphones that were given to them not by me, but I communicate with them on them. I guess the old saying if you can't beat them, join them applies.