I know the ESD strap is all the rage, but it's not totally mandatory. The object of the exercise is indeed to dissipate any static electricity before touching sensitive components. If you use proper precautions, you don't really need one for every task with electronics. I have one with a static mat that I use for touchy stuff, but I confess that doing stuff like swapping cards in computers I don't got that far. However, I don't sit in the fabric chair that generates static, I have a wood floor, and I do indeed discharge myself on the chassis before I plug/unplug any cards or cables.I have an ESD strap, but I wasn't wearing it that day. I do however touch the metal part of the case before I handle any peripherals.