On this day of thanks, this season of reflecting in gratitude for the blessings all around us, I humbly offer thanks to the technologies that enrich my existence. While I readily acknowledge that I am slow to adopt available technologies (an admitted technophobe), once I do, I quickly realize the advantages. Within the past year, I have stepped up the pace in terms of technology adoption. Which just gets me to a place where I am merely somewhat behind the general population in terms of personal use technology rather than dangerously lagging.
First, I am thankful for my digital camera. I do not fancy myself a photographer by any stretch of the imagination, but I do love to capture images and do my best to coax and stretch them into something visually interesting. I conquered my technophobia long enough to purchase this item last winter and learn how to use some of the features. Which leads to the second item on this list. I am thankful for Picasa, that wonderful image enhancement product that helps turn my ordinary snapshots into something pleasant, something worth sharing. Which, in turn, leads to the third item on the list. I am thankful for Smilebox, that inspired photo compilation and presentation product that can make any collection of digital photos look wonderfully thoughtful and appealing.
Fourth, I am thankful for my ATM/Visa bank check card. I know these have been around for quite some time, but I am slowly beginning to realize the conveniences. Furthermore, I am thankful for online bill payments, a banking feature with which I am just now gaining familiarity. And while we are on the subject of financial services, I am thankful for all the online customer portals to my accounts, insurance policies, W2 statements, tax returns, etc., that made applying for my mortgage such a speedy process this past summer. I had nearly all the required supporting documents sent over in a matter of minutes.
And last, I am thankful for the online tools that offer a venue for discovery and creativity, primarily the google blogspot tool, youtube and last.fm. Through youtube and last.fm, I have been fortunate enough to explore music in a way that is free and completely easy. While I am still not comfortable with the procedure of operating an ipod, at least I can gain casual access to digital music. And the blogspot tool offers an opportunity to foster personal creativity in a way that I would have never expected to find enriching.
While 2009 will not go down in history as the year of major advances in consumer technology, it has been a watershed year, for me at least. And I am genuinely thankful.