Commentary: Give me the simple life

Some of us feel no need to pursue the latest technology

Harriet Cuthbert

I recently purchased a new Canon point-and-shoot camera to replace my old Canon point-and-shoot camera, the trusty loyal friend that accompanied me on many international trips during the past 10 years and simplified my life.

How many times, as I whipped out the camera to snap a quick pic, was I grateful that I did not have to think about lighting, speed or exposure? I could just stare at the site I wanted to photograph, look into the camera’s viewfinder, focus and — voila! The photo permanently has been stored on the camera’s memory card, ready to help me draw upon my own memories.

The beauty of all digital cameras is multi-faceted: The photos are free (no processing); you can snap two or three in a nanosecond; and you then push can push a button to view your masterpieces. Nothing too technical (complicated) about any of that.

I am a dedicated adherent to Henri Cartier Bresson’s philosophy regarding the making of photographs. He believed in “the decisive moment,” wherein he framed the photograph he wanted and immediately took the picture. He was a genius when it came to composing; he has taught me a lot. He was always prepared as he searched for that special activity or setting that was worthy of a photograph.

Another one of my recent purchases was a new dishwasher to replace one made by the same company that had run its course. I push exactly the same buttons on the new one to get the same results the old one produced — clean, polished dishes and silverware ready to go. I do not have to deal with programming and pre-planning. Basically, no extra thinking is needed, which is precisely what I was looking for.

As I wandered around the box store where I had purchased my camera, I noticed a certain high-end brand selling refrigerators for $10,000! Yes, the zeroes in that figure are correct. What does this appliance do that is better than my $1,000 refrigerator-freezer? Does it count the number of ice cubes per drink? Does it sing? Does it personally take out the food and spread it on a tray? No. Mine does not, either, but they both do an equally good job of keeping the food cold and the ice cubes frozen.

Sometimes, the best way to free up time for more enjoyable pursuits is to remain dedicated to a simplified lifestyle.

That being said, I am not sure where my smart phone fits into this discussion. I do have to admit that it is one gadget I really like, especially when it comes to pushing the “Messages” button and my anticipation of all those texts and photos.