As tech-dominated as our everyday lives have become, there’s a few gadgets and services that no one should be without. These are things that, in my humble opinion, are just so useful that they are must-haves for anyone who has the resources to get them.
For everyone out there reading that is already an avid texter, you know exactly what I’m talking about. For everyone else, listen up. Texting probably seems like just a young person’s game, but I guarantee you that once you start getting the hang of it, you’ll be hooked too. The number one thing that is great about texting is the convenience. You can just ask someone a question without worrying about if they can talk right now or if they’re too busy to pick up the phone and have a whole long conversation. You know that sometimes you don’t want to REALLY talk to someone, you just want one little piece of information, and calling people on the phone kind of pressures you into asking more and having a conversation.
One of my favorite things about texting is that it allows you time to think about what you want to say next without those long, awkward silences. In fact, you can spread a whole conversation out over an entire day if you want. One warning though: if your phone plan doesn’t offer unlimited texting, this can be a very expensive habit. Trust me, once you start texting regularly, you will be texting a lot more than you think. Once you start going over the allotted number of texts, the overage fees pile up quick. But unlimited plans are pretty reasonably priced these days, so it’s a good investment.
2. iPhone 3GS / iPhone 4
Speaking of phones, if you’ve got the funds you should definitely go out and get one of the two newer iPhone models from Apple. Though you’ve probably heard all the hype surrounding them, let me assure you: they live up to the hype. Putting aside for a moment all the hundreds of useful applications (tons of them free) that offer all kinds of helpful services on their own, the phone itself is awesome. It’s slim without feeling tiny, with a responsive touchscreen, a camera that takes great pictures and video, plenty of room for music and videos, and frankly it just looks cool. Add in the 3G and wifi options that allow you to go on the internet almost anywhere? Maps, Google searches, pretty much anything you could do on your computer at home in the palm of your hand. I can honestly say that ever since I got an iPhone, I haven’t been able to put it down. The phone and its apps (short for applications) are useful in extremely useful in everyday life, making it a must-have for people on the go.
Explaining Facebook is a little complicated, due to the amount of functions that it has. It could be described as a chat service, or a way to get in touch with old friends, or even a gaming website, because it is all of these. But more than anything, it’s a way to stay in touch with your friends. When you register for an account, you create a Facebook page that you fill in with personal information or just plain silly things about yourself. For those who got worried at the mention of ‘personal information,’ don’t worry. There’s all kinds of privacy settings that can be used to restrict exactly who sees your information. You can upload pictures and create albums for your friends to see, and pretty much anything people do you can comment on.
Once you get a profile and a few friends, you’ll see how easy it is to stay in touch with people that you normally wouldn’t see. You can talk to friends or family across the country by leaving comments on their profile or on pictures, or even write them private messages. It’s even very useful for getting in touch with people nearby, or for planning events with large groups of people.
4. Amazon Kindle
Amazon’s Kindle e-reader is another one of those gadgets that you just can’t put down. I received the new model last Christmas, and as an avid reader, I love the thing. The $200 price tag is a little high, but again if you’ve got the extra money, I fully recommend it. For all of us who love to read wherever we are, it frees you up from having to either only have one book with you at a time or carry a heavy bag with a couple inside. The Kindle is slim (though I recommend getting a case for it), easy to use, and allows you to download new books from almost anywhere with its wireless internet options. Seriously, just think of having 50 books in your hand. If you’re into books, that’s all I need to say.
5. Koss PortaPro headphones
These headphones are, at first glance, nothing special. The sound is really good, they’re comfortable, and they’re not too dorky or huge to wear in public. Combined with a $30 price tag (note: I got this price at a Best Buy, you’ll pay $50 or $80 off the Koss website), these are a good deal. But the best part is this: lifetime warranty. You register them online, and if the headphones break, simply send the broken pair in to receive a new one free of charge. Come on, how sweet is that? I’ve had a pair of these for a few months now, and they are one of the best pair of headphones I’ve had, especially considering how cheap they are. They fold up for more portability, have great sound without blocking out everything around you (handy if you want to hear music but would like to still be aware), and have a cloth-covered cord that hasn’t gotten tangled on me once. Forget uncomfortable earbuds and expensive headphones, this is what you should be blasting your music through.