I’ve got a problem, and a confession to make: I’m an early adopter.
Every day, I visit multiple tech news sites, and I spend way too much time drooling over the newest devices that are or will be coming out. I’ve stood in line for the newest iThing – multiple times. I’ve preordered, I’ve bought on eBay. I’ve even bought knockoffs of the newest tech when I couldn’t afford the real deal.
I have more tablets than bedrooms. I have three laptops, my house has a desktop in every room save our bathrooms… Not to mention the numerous game systems and other devices we have lurking about.
I could go on… But I’m afraid if I do this will come off as an audition for the TV show Hoarders.
I know why I got here (duh, I bought lots of stuff)… Or at least, I know the rationale I kept telling myself. “As a user experience professional, you need to understand all the new tech so you can design solutions for it,” I told myself and my wife (also known as She Who Must be Obeyed). She accepted that excuse for a while… But when the utility of the technology becomes a cluttered pile of aluminum and plastic… Well, that excuse doesn’t cut it anymore.
I’m trying to stop, but it isn’t easy. The technolust, the craving for the New is strong.
The clutter isn’t even the half of it. If you listen very carefully you can hear Gaia weeping, softly. All this new cheap tech people with disposable income buy… It just means that even more landfills will get filled with old tech… which doesn’t really help things.
(This is not a ecologic-focused screed, but you can apply/reflect upon my thoughts in that way. Knock yourself out.)
Thankfully, I have matured my outlook around where my money and focus should be. Instead of things, it should go towards purchasing experiences… Memories last longer than shiny Apple devices.
But still, being an early adopter… Chasing the new, as it were. It’s fun. It’s why we line up to see blockbusters on opening weekends, and why there are lines to get the newest iWhatever. It fills those “Empty Spaces,” to quote Roger Waters.
When we chase the new, we lose sight of how good… How Really good… Things are right now. I remember when we impressed with the idea of a compact flash drive that stored (gasp!) 256 megabytes worth of files! (I’m old). Now, you can get 32 GIGABYTE storage on a chip smaller than a stamp and a smart phone that can render 3D games in real-time as you ride the bus to work. CRAZY.
I often talk at conferences about how our baseline has shifted (and, blatant plug, I am available to speak at your conference!) And that is the core of what has and will continue to happen. We keep wanting more, because we get “used to” the awesomeness we are able to use very day. We expect more, and we don’t appreciate what we have when we have it.
Like I said, I’m trying to do better. I’m trying to accept that “good enough” is an acceptable measure, that I don’t need a new smart phone every six months.
Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have to go read the latest iPhone 6S rumors…