Technology has us in its grasp. Have your buying habits changed in the last 10 years? 5 years? I own two iPads. Not one, but two. I purchased the initial iPad within a week or two of its release and I am somewhat embarrassed to say I queued up for the second one. I must admit, however, in the one-horse town where I live, that queue was of no consequence and I could have also walked up the road and bought an iPad on the spot.
Regardless, I have a MacBook Air and two iPads. In the last 15 years I have owned five different Apple Mac laptops. Five. That is an average of a new laptop every three years. That is obscene when you think about it.
I still possess the transistor radio that I bought in 1974. I still use the Pioneer PL71 turntable for playing my vinyl albums that I received as a gift from my parents in 1976. They both work. The turntable is in excellent condition. I simply replace the cartridge and needle from time to time. See, I am trying to assuage my guilt. Typical Catholic upbringing. 😛
Why is it that I find myself needing to replace my laptops so regularly? Why? I have not bought the new iPad 3 as yet. At least I do not feel a burning desire to rush out and get that. The only thing that appeals about the iPad 3 is the voice to text feature that is part of the iOS. I can survive without it.
I still have my iPhone 3Gs that I bought in 2008. My usage of the iPad renders it almost superfluous. I have no desire to rush out and buy the iPhone 4S. Perhaps the iPhone 5 if it features NFC. I am champing at the bit for news of the iPhone 5. I rarely use my current iPhone. Why do I want a new one?!
All the same, why do I and others possess this almost uncontrollable urge* to possess the latest and greatest gadget? Is it marketing? Vanity? Competitiveness? What is it? Are we all screwed by marketing executives? Have we all been hypnotised? Is it a means to alleviate stress, anxiety or even depression? What is it?
It is almost like an obsessive compulsive disorder. It is not good. Not good for our well being. Not good for the planet. Not good for society. This endless cycle of updating to the latest technology. It is ridiculous.
I have owned the same turntable, Teac graphic equaliser, and a couple of other hi-fi odds and ends for 35 years. They all work. The records sound fine. I feel no need to update. I am satisfied.
Yet, when it comes to computers, iPods, iPads and all that guff I, and seemingly many others, have been caught up in this unbelievable crazy black hole of needing to purchase the latest and greatest. What gives? What has happened? What has changed?
It is quite insane really. Do I, and all the other technology junkies out there, need some counselling and cognitive behaviour therapy in order to manage this digital technology obsessive compulsive disorder?
Ask yourself the following questions: How many phones have you owned in the last 10 or 15 years? How many laptops? How many iPods/iPads? How many digital cameras? Be honest.
How do you feel about that?
*Remember Uncontrollable Urge by Devo in 1978?