Total Tool Overload

Day 279 Week 40 Q4 Saturday, October 7, 2023

Are you a tool addict? I am. Physical house tools to cook, build and garden. Digital office tools to write and present. Music tools to compose and record. Audio production tools. And of course a bevy of computers, tablets and phones.

Hardware stores and app stores are still dangerous places for me to visit. And like many other musicians and photographers, I am afflicted by GAS, Gear Acquisition Syndrome.

I love tools. I love to evaluate, compare, order, unbox, plug in and use them to make a wide range of things and of content.  I do not accumulate clothing, jewelry and knickknacks but I do accumulate tools, primarily those that are used for creative expression. Sometimes I convince myself that these tools will lower the overhead to create or permit me to create different types of results or simply improve my workflow.

Every once in a while I realize I had better stop acquiring tools because I already have more than I can use, never mind more than I can master. And yes I also like to try to master at least some of them but this is becoming increasing difficult when it comes to software tools as an increasing number of them have become or are becoming too vast for any single person to know entirely. Does anyone know all of the commands in Word, Excel or in Digital Audio Workstations called DAWs. How about operating systems? Do you know everything your computer can do even without the other kinds of apps? In fact most people do not even know what operating systems are.

Still, is this a problem like being addicted to drugs, drinking, gambling or sex? Well, there are common elements the operative word being addicted implying some sort of lack of control and tool acquisition can be expensive making it something like gambling because you do not even know if they will do what you want them to do and they may not even do what the people who are selling them say they can do for they too are a bit like drug dealers trying to get you hooked on tool subscriptions. Could someone spend the rent money on tools? I am sure some can.

But for the most part being addicted to tools is not a bad thing as they usually cost a lot less than cars, houses, airplanes and boats unless you consider them tools too? Well I suppose some could consider them tools for seduction.

The good news is in general tools are developmental, keep your brain sharp, permit you to do interesting and expressive things and are not very expensive relative to other things.  The only down side is when you have accumulated so many exciting, intriguing and time consuming tools that you feel overloaded with creative potential.

Wait, are you saying this is a problem? Having too much creative potential?  Well it can be but the feeling passes almost instantly for me because I have too many tools to play with to be concerned about it.