(Post by Kevin)
This year we have seen dozens of new cell phone models hit the market. Updated releases to iMacs are available through Apple. New Surface tablets from Microsoft. Kickstarter is launching thousands of new gadget-focused startups.
Technology can be overwhelming at times.
I should know. I received my first computer at around age 8 and I’m now at the decent age of 26. I wouldn’t call myself a “veteran” of technology by no means, but I’ve been around it enough that I can proudly say I’ve spent the better part of my life with it.
I’ve bought plenty of computers, gadgets, and peripherals over all those years.
The biggest lesson learned through my experience with technology hasn’t been the computer at all – it’s knowing how to add longevity to your purchase to avoid being trapped in an endless cycle of upgrades and hype.
Technology Hype is my Enemy
I’m frugal when it comes to technology … not cheap.
I’ll spend countless hours comparing specifications, reviews, and hands-on experience with a computer before I decide to make the purchase. I only make the upgrade when I deem it necessary.
My criteria are fairly simple:
- Will it double my productivity using the main software I use?
- Will it challenge me to explore new technology to keep an edge?
I treat technology as a tool and so should you.
I admit I have fallen victim to hype during new product releases, but I’m not the one that rushes out the door and stands in line for a new model of the same phone released a few months ago. I find that very foolish from a technological and financial standpoint.
You have to understand the wants vs. needs.
Due to the years of experience with technology and having a frugal/tinkerer mentality I believe I have avoided tens of thousands of dollars’ worth of debt trying to keep up with the hype.
Technology Longevity is our Friend
Much of the reason we purchase new computers, phones, and gadgets it keeping up with others. We buy into the hype because we want to play with the new features. The marketing is aimed in a way that makes us think our older model is “crap” compared to the latest and greatest.
On the contrary …
When you consider technology as a tool you begin to break the mental conflict. You realize what you have is perfectly capable of completing your tasks or having some fun.
Here are some ways I’d recommend keeping them in tip-top shape:
- Do regular audits of your computers & gadgetry to remove unneeded/unwanted programs and files that are taking up too many resources (do this every 2 – 3 months).
- Consider making the investment into security software to keep your files safe and sound so you’re not constantly having to reformat or use repair services to retrieve files from a corrupted hard drive. The new Titanium system from Trend Micro can even protect your social media accounts from malware.
- Choose a desktop that isn’t expensive, because you can continually upgrade them in small increments versus buying new models every few years.
- Go with brands you know and trust. Take the time to read reviews and do your due diligence to understand the customer service, experience, and policies from each company.
- Wait it out. See something you want? Sit on it for a month and ask yourself if you still want it then. You’ll find that 90% of the time you no longer care for said item, which saves you a ton of money by not buying into the hype.
- Stay sharp about technology and read industry news so you know what trends really matter and which ones are likely to be fads.
If there is one parting piece of information it would be this: you shouldn’t feel obliged to get a new piece of technology just because it’s new.
If what you have now works then don’t worry about whether it has the latest bells and whistles. What matters is whether technology is giving you results. When it comes to the point when it’s truly obsolete, you can begin sourcing your next upgrade (and even then look for used).
Kevin is an account director at Online Rep Management and has been working within internet marketing and public relations for over 8 years. Kevin got his start working online in SEO, link building, and some affiliate marketing. Kevin is most passionate about helping good brands become online entities. Read more on Google+ Follow Kevin on twitter!
Photo by Brenda