Thou Shalt Not Covet thy Neighbor’s Wifi


The following post (three of four) is sponsored by DELL and their fancy new Inspiron All-in-One 2320 Computer which (hooray!) is up for grabs for giveaway! (See rules and regs below.) Thanks, Dell! You = awesome.


The day I was discharged from the hospital, miserable and sore, empty-handed with two newborns in the NICU, Hal brought me home, sat me down and handed me a present. Yes, a present.

“Don’t yell. This is not a push present. This is a ‘you need this and refuse to buy yourself one so I will’ present. It just happens that you just gave birth.”

The gift was a new laptop he had purchased the day after Bo & Rev were born after seeing me struggle to write from my hospital bed on a five -year-old laptop, a chunk missing from the right side and a wifi stick that seldom worked. (My wifi broke over a year ago and I’ve been using a wifi stick ever since.)

Hal had been trying to convince me to buy myself a new laptop for the last several months. But I LOVED my old laptop. It had soul, man! Like a vintage artifact!  Of course WORKING on a vintage artifact is not ideal and no matter how hard I wax poetic about the allure of typewriters and rotary telephones, they’re impractical in today’s world of tomorrowland.

I have a hard time reconciling this. Perhaps I’ve read far too much post-war Parisian literature about writers banging away on hundred year old machines so that new gadgetry doesn’t appeal to me at all…

And yet the world requires we make upgrades so that we can compete in a tech-based society. That’s especially true for those of us who make our living in a technical field. For instance blogging on a defunct machine is just stupid on my part. And yet… it took me several weeks to pull Hal’s generous gift out of its box and put it to use.


a photo Hal took last year of the kids playing on his phone which he loads with kid apps when I’m not looking


I guess in a way, I’m on the fence with technological gadgetry. I don’t want to feel like my life depends on the latest and greatest. I don’t want to get sucked into monthly upgrades and yearly trade-ins, especially since every few months there’s a new “must have” item on everyone’s list.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m attached at the palm to my phone. I’m obsessed with my computer. My blog is like my fifth child. (I still can’t believe I have four children, wtf.) but I resent what these devices take from us as much as I appreciate all that they offer. I hate that we have been programmed to think we must replace what is “obsolete” … or “not good enough” or “not fast enough” with what today calls “the best” “even better” “the only way to learn”…

It has been beaten into us that the only way to be “cool with the kids” is to “out with the old, in with the new” EVERYTHING. If you can afford to buy the new upgraded phone? You should do it. If your computer is four years old and isn’t in mint condition? Throw it away and buy a new one. Why? Because that’s just what you do, silly!

It’s kind of why it bothers me that Archer’s school is going tablet… because unlike journals and books that have tangible qualities and long (potentially ANCIENT) lifespans, a technological device lasts a mere two to three years before demanding a replacement.

What does that mindset do to us as people? As parents and spouses and partners? Nothing? Something? Everything?

That being said, I am typing this post on my brand spanking new laptop (thank you, Hal!) with my brand spanking new babies (thank you, Hal), besides an application for what could end up becoming our brand spanking new house (come on, Steve!) so you might just want to ignore this entire post. Especially the title because I DO covet thy neighbor’s wifi. Mine keeps losing signal.


Do you covet the latest in tech gadgetry? Comment away for a chance to win an Inspiron One 2320 Touch computer! This giveaway will run until Friday, October 28th at 11:59 p.m. EDT and is open to all U.S. residents. A winner will be chosen at random using from all eligible entries. Each reader has FOUR chances to win by  leaving a separate comment on each of my Dell posts, and Dell posts by other bloggers participating in this campaign (you can find those posts at the Family Tech topics page). The chosen winner must respond within 48 hours of notification to claim their prize. Good luck!

Article Posted 5 years Ago

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