Where Have All the Netbooks gone?


I’ve been looking for netbooks for quite a while. They have flown off the shelves everywhere.  I have a feeling they won’t be replaced any time soon. Tablets will take their space in the  stores. And I am sad. Now, I know netbooks are cheap and limited, but they are a great mobile tool for people who just  want to use it for e-mail and Skype. I  have bought several of those over the last few years and still think they are the best deals when it comes to computer these days. I mean, where also can you get a computer for less than $300? Tablets start at about $500 and though they have more options than the netbooks, they require more getting used to.

I have a theory that we’re witnessing another example of how big manufacturers shape the habit of consumers. Today I overheard a salesman trying to steer a potential customer from a netbook to either a tablet or a regular laptop. The guy just wanted to do e-mail. He didn’t want to buy a fancy computer, he was not interested in watching videos, playing games or creating any documents with that computer. No, he just wanted a computer to do e-mail. But no, he had to hear a pitch about how netbooks have so many limitations.

That has happened with T.V.’s and cell phones. I am just wondering what will come next. Cars? Will certain types of cars simply disappear from the show rooms of America? Are we going to be forced to buy some hybrid thing in the future? Look, I am all for clean and green but I also thing it should always be a choice.

Since I am a church man, I wonder if this is also the way people approach where they go to church. “I used to go there but they don’t even use Power Point.” “It was his blog more than anything that brought me to his church.” “They didn’t even give me the option of giving online.”

Some day church might become just another button to click on your computer. The pastor will be an avatar and the sermons will be songs composed by a teenager using a little tablet she herself made from parts she got from a dispenser outside her classroom. We will be reduced to little more than bobbing heads swaying left to right in front of a bright screen that threatens to swallow us if we walk away.  There will be no soldiers to form arms, no captains to steer ships, no cheer leaders to lead us astray. There will be no energy left after we pay our daily dues to the gods of technology. It will be the end of man as we know it.

I am saying good-bye to myself, unless, of course, somebody can save me and I in turn can save the world from “virtualitis.” Meanwhile, I would just like to get two more netbooks.

Ivanildo C. Trindade

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