The 2013 International CES is being held from Jan. 8-11 in Las Vegas. International CES is the world's largest annual consumer technology trade show and the place to find all of the newest, biggest and best upcoming electronics products. For the next few days, over 3,250 exhibitors will show their newest products to more than 150,000 attendees.
The rest of us will watch CES 2013 coverage on Facebook, Twitter, iPhones, iPads, big screen televisions and our computers. Some of us will also read about new products from CES 2013 in newspapers that haven't yet been converted to an all-digital format.
For some boomers, technology is a mystery best left to our children and grandchildren. Many of us can program our watches, DVDs and coffee makers but are less confident when it comes to newer technology. Others among us have embraced technology willingly, quickly learning all that we can about the newest of what my dad would call gizmos and gadgets.
Like many boomers, I'm somewhere in the middle. To give you an idea of how far technology has traveled in my life, here's a story about an event that happened when I was in high school.
At a school presentation, a representative from the local phone company introduced us to touch-tone phones and explained what the two new buttons at the bottom of the phone would some day be able to do. Back then, all phones had rotary dials. These days, if you don't have a phone that can press the star and pound keys, good luck reaching a representative from the local phone company.
Wherever you stand on technology, one thing's for sure. Technology has changed our lives in ways both good and bad. We can tweet this, text that, upload photos to Instagram, find recipes on Pinterest, update our Facebook status on our iPhone or iPad and read the newest book on our Kindle.
It's easy to get caught up in the newest and best that technology has to offer but beware. All of these items can quickly land you in a state known as technology overload. When you don't have time for your real life friends because you're too busy interacting with people you've never met on Facebook, you may have a problem.
If you can't step away from your iPhone long enough to go for a walk or even to the bathroom, you may have a problem. If your idea of wishing your sister or brother happy birthday is to send an e-card, you may have a problem or you may be one of a growing number of boomers for whom technology has become a way of life.
Because, like it or love it, technology is here to stay. Keep your eyes on Vegas this week for updates about the Huawei Ascend Mate smartphone, the world's largest with a 6.1 inch screen and the Sharp Ultra HD 85 inch high-definition TV. Both of these may be just right for the seniors among us.
But at the same time, mix some common sense in with your sense of wonder and awe at these and other new products. Like all new technology, they will be old in days or weeks. Most boomers prefer to stick to timeless technology products that have been around for a while, what our parents call tried and true.
Stay tuned to Vegas and CES 2013 but also stay focused on the people in your everyday life with whom you live, work and play. Put the gadgets down and enjoy real life from time to time because, as all boomers know, it's too short already.