This is a tale of obsession.
I am hoping that someone will read this and say ... Oh, yes, this happened to me too. And then I won't feel so so different!
Four or five years ago, I was given a Apple Nano iPod for Christmas by my son. I remember opening the box and thinking "oh, my - whatever will I do with this." Being a good mother, I quickly expressed my thanks. He started showing me how to use it. I search the Apple box for a booklet of instructions. There were no instructions. My thoughts raced. (I am a Microsoft person. I wanted, expected, prepared for complicated processes when it came to technology. I wanted written instructions. Darn. I would have to focus and remember what he said .)
And then he showed me how iTunes worked (oh man, no instructions there either ... keep focused on what he is saying, nod your head, ask questions, look interested!). He then showed me all the music I could download (I guess he didn't know that I really don't really listen to music.)
And then the first inkling of what was possible dawned. I felt a small buzz.
He started talking about pod casts. Pod casts are similar to radio shows. Some are done by professionals and many are done by talented amateurs. And the topics run the whole gamete - any topic you can imagine. (hmm, maybe there was something in this I might enjoy.) He asked me what I was interested in, and I said "knitting" (ha! good luck getting a hit on that topic). He typed "knitting" in the search box. A whole bunch of free pod casts on knitting popped up. (oh no, pages and pages of free knitting pod casts filled the screen.)
I don't actually remember much after that - truthfully ... the next 3 weeks were a total blur. I was busy searching for pod casts on all kinds of topics, downloading, listening, deleting ones I was done with, searching for more, and downloading again, over and over and over ... several times a day for weeks.
At some point my son dropped by for a visit. I held out my Nano and told him that he had given me a "life sucking" piece of equipment. I was no longer the master of my own life. I was addicted to this thing. What had he done? He just smiled.
Fast forward 6 months. I moved on to a iPod Classic ... way more memory ... able to store gazillions of pod casts. Yes, in just 6 short months I had 2 iPods. Addiction counselors would see the signs of escalation - red flags. Warning! Warning! - someone spinning out of control! I listened to pod casts of every description. At one point I had over 500 free pod casts on my iPod. Some were as short at 10 minutes, some ran to 90 minutes. I figured out that if I listened to pod casts non-stop, around the clock, until they were all gone, it would take me over 12 days to listen all the pod casts I had downloaded. But I had lots of memory and the pod casts were free!! Free entertainment. The more the merrier was my attitude!! I was in "pod cast hoarder heaven"!
And then my iPod broke.
Well not entirely broke - just sort of broke. I couldn't add more pod casts to my iPod. I had lots of unused memory but it wasn't accepting new pod casts. Since it was still under warranty, I could return it and get another one ... but what about all the pod casts that were on this unit? A new unit wouldn't have all my downloads. It would take me hours to re-download all these pod casts. I felt a little unsettled! Signs of withdrawal?? So I started listening and deleting pod casts off the iPod at an accelerated rate. Other pod casts started backing up on my computer just waiting to be put on an iPod. By the time I was ready to trade in my broken iPod ... I had reached a certain level of burn-out. Pod cast burn-out! I am sure that now in 2010 - this is a condition that has been studied in a medical journal somewhere. I am surprised that we haven't heard about it on the nightly news.
When I returned home with my replacement iPod, I took a deep breath! The Apple spell was interrupted. I started to think rationally.
Did I need all these pod casts? I mean, like really. Does anyone need hundreds of pod casts?
When I began down loading again, I severely narrowed my subscriptions.
Fast forward to the present. I am cured ... mostly. I don't download every day, I am subscribed to far fewer pod casts, and I think if my equipment failed, I would not hyperventilate. I would handle the situation with clarity and maturity. Of course, I haven't been tested, but ...
And besides, this past Christmas I got an iPod Touch and I discovered the wonderful world of Apps! The Apple advertisement that says "There's an App for that!" doesn't lie. You can get an App for everything. Lots of them are free. Most are reasonably priced. My iPod Touch has so much memory. I have tons of free memory still. And much of it is free entertainment!
And then in the spring Apple launched the iPad. So now I have one of those as well. And more memory and lots of space for Apps.
But I am much better, really!