Is Mother's Day a Gadget-Procurement Event?
Being a tech columnist means never having to forget that Mother's Day is coming up -- publicists for tech companies won't let me.
The first "mother's day tech gadgets" e-mail arrived back on March 10, and since then each week has brought a few more. The items being pitched are all over the map:
* A Samsung digital camera with an automatic mode-select feature, so you don't need to remember to switch it to macro focus yourself.
* A set of "Beats by Dr. Dre Tour" headphones. (I don't know about your mother, but mine keeps complaining that none of Dre's solo output ever measured up to his N.W.A. work.)
* Tech-support services to fix Mom's computer.
* Laptop cases and totes in various colors and designs.
* Photobooks, or photobook-creation software.
* A networked D-Link digital picture frame that can display photos you've uploaded to a few photo-sharing sites.
None of these things strike me as inherently un-giftable, but it is amusing to see the lengths to which marketing types will go to make these items Mom-worthy. One common tactic: touting a pink or purple version of the device.
The idea behind all these marketing efforts is, of course, to a) convert this day into a shopping occasion, then b) persuade people to divert some of that gift-procurement budget to gadgets. The same thing is behind all the "dads and grads" pitches now streaming into my inbox, tied to Father's Day and college graduations next month. (The grads part makes a little more sense to me, given that many grads have relatively few material possessions and little money with which to buy more: If Junior just got his diploma and can't get a job, buy him a Wii so he can at least keep himself entertained in your basement!)
Are you planning on getting your mom any sort of tech-themed gift? Or will a card, flowers or brunch suffice?
May 7, 2009; 12:54 PM ET
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