Hey New York Times, I'm Not Throwing Away My Camera

Hey New York Times, I'm Not Throwing Away My Camera

Taryn Williford
Mar 25, 2011

Yeah, new tech comes and goes. But I'm a just-in-case packrat who won't throw yesterday's old gear away. So when the New York Times suggests (convincingly) that we all throw away our desktop computers, USB thumb drives, iPods and GPS units, I'm left in a tizzy wondering exactly what to hold on to.

Trash This, Not That

If you haven't yet seen the story, "Gadgets You Should Get Rid Of (or Not)" on NYTimes.com, here's a little run down: The author thinks that with the multitude of multi-tasking tech we carry around with us every day, a lot of previously-popular uni-taskers should march out the door of most American homes. Here's a Cliff's Notes version:

High-Speed Internet at Home
Alarm Clocks
Desktop Computers
Cable TV
Point-and-Shoot Cameras
USB Thumb Drives
Digital Music Players
GPS Units

My Plan

But we all know there's no one-size-fits-all organizational plan for life. This story is, at the root of it, just the opinion of its author. I have my own strategy for what stays and what goes.

  • I'm never going to toss away my cable TV. I know that I can watch any show on television through Netflix or Hulu, but there are some things you need to watch live. Like sports, the NY Times author concedes. I'd add parades and watch-while-you-text-your-friends shows like Lost to the list, like you might have read in Why I'm Not Switching to Internet TV Anytime Soon.
  • I will (probably) always keep my point-and-shoot camera. If you read my Tech Top 10, you know I always keep an old-model Fuji FinePix camera at the bottom of my purse. Although I've got a DSLR for occasional important shots and my iPhone to snap quick pics for Twitter, my point-and-shoot has come in really handy in several situations. Like when I got into a late-night car accident. My iPhone 3GS couldn't have gotten detail pictures for the insurance company in the 2 a.m. light. But newer phones have better cameras (with flashes!), so I could see dropping my point-and-shoot somewhere down the road.
  • I always carry (and use) my USB Thumb Drive. File-sharing sites and programs aren't always available—I find they're sometimes blocked from public computers. And when I find myself at the printers, it's always super-easy to hand over a thumb drive instead of giving them access to my email.

Everything else, I pretty much agree with. I haven't touched my desktop computer once in months. I don't need a GPS unit when I have the Maps app. And the same goes for my iPod—only the workout-music-loaded iPod Shuffle has lasted through my iPhone years.

What Are You Purging?

How about you? Do you agree with the New York Times' list? Have you already killed cable or tossed your camcorder? Or will you clutch your ink-and-paper books with you into the grave?

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