Since I started Wannabe Wired, I’ve been getting emails from people asking me about my recommendations for different types of tech. It seems like every time I put out a column, I get a wave of emails asking about my preferences for TVs or smart watches. And, while I’m flattered, I can’t always respond to everyone. So instead, I’ve decided to dedicate my column this week to a few of my favorite things. Here’s hoping you’ll find something useful in my tech recommendations.
There was a time when I was an iPhone-or-bust kind of guy. I valued the iPhone for its style and flash. But these days I am Android all day. The iPhone, on a surface level, is the more powerful device. And if you are an Apple person it pays to have an iPhone so that you can create synergy between all of your devices. But me, I prefer the customizability of the Android. Apple has always been stingy when it comes to their user experience, which is why you can pick up any given iPhone and it will most likely resemble any other iPhone. But androids? You can mod those puppies to your heart’s content.
I’ve never been much of a brand loyalist; I suppose that’s the millennial in me. When it comes to TVs, I used to go for affordability. But these days TVs are so cheap that there is little competition in terms of value. So what it comes down to then, at least for me, is use. We have three TVs in our house. Our main set is a 55-inch 4k in the living room. I couldn’t tell you what brand it is, but it has a built in Roku and native HDR support for gaming. It’s a 2020 model, which makes it our newest set. Our bedroom TV is another 55 inch (that size just feels right to me) but it’s an older, non-4k model. And finally, in our spare room, I have a 30-inch CRT TV. Why you ask? Well, for playing old school video games which function best on CRTs.
Again, it’s not so much about brand for me here as it is specs. I’m a writer, so I don’t need a super powerful laptop. My current is a Lenovo with 8 gigs of RAM and an I9 processor. It gets the job done and then some. I will say that I also value durability, as I tend to be rough on my laptops. My Lenovo has survived several drops, animal stomps and spilled drinks.
I’m going to have to go old school here and say, if you can only afford one streaming service, go with Netflix. The OG streaming service not only has hundreds of TV shows and movies to choose from, it also has a wealth of some of the best originals out there. I mean, Stranger Things alone is worth the Netflix subscription. Now, if you can afford several, I would say bundle Netflix with Hulu and Disney+ and you will have all of the content you could ever need.
If you’ve been paying attention to these columns, you’ll know that I have quite the love/hate relationship with social media. On the one hand I appreciate its ability to connect disparate parts of the world with one another so seamlessly. On the other I think the major social media companies have failed their users by allowing hate and disinformation to spread like wildfire across their platforms. I tend to use Facebook the most because of my career, but if I had to recommend one, I would say Instagram. Instagram just feels easier to cultivate to me than any other social media feed.
Finally, here are a few more of my favorites to see us home:
Podcast: The Anthropocene Reviewed.
Activity Tracker: FitBit.
Video Game Console: PlayStation
E-Reader: Kindle Paperwhite