Since growing up in the Silicon Valley, I've always been surrounded by a constant surge of new and exciting gadgets. A new computer here. A new TV there. It's nearly impossible to pick and choose a nice purchase without conducting several hours of research, and even then, it's still hard to resist being the early adopter to experience the best of the latest tech.
That's good when you have lots of money, but in these hard times, I figured it'd be best to curb that spending and set some money aside for you know.. the flying car or something.
If you're like me and want to buy smart, but still appreciate all the home tech you've already got, I recommend give this 5-step checklist a shot to see if it helps:
- Imagine yourself without it: Usually when you see something you really want, you'll be tempted to immediately picture yourself having a blast with it for months on end. Realistically, it might get a couple weeks worth of use at most and end up in your infamous 'tech junk' drawer. So, just take a second to imagine your life without it... if all seems well, you might not need it after all.
- Don't believe in the hype: Play the skeptic and question features that promise to solve all your troubles. Some of these features are often redundant and/or merely recoined terminology (ie: "the cloud"). Who knows, perhaps some of your current devices might even already have the capability without you knowing it.
- Consider repurposing your old tech: When we say play it smart, we aren't simply saying, "Don't buy anything." We're talking about making the best out of every gadget, even your old projectors and hard drives. Older projectors, while less bright and probably lacks the proper inputs, are perfect for outdoor movie nights by the pool or can be used as fun digital art project. For hard drives, you can stick them into a local array (see Drobo) and use them for backups.
- Ignore the naysayers: Your friends might rag on you for not upgrading your first generation iPhone, but hey - it's yours and you have your own special reasons for loving it. Be true to yourself and your tech choices.
- Plan for the ecosystem: Since mobile's now a huge space these days, there doesn't seem to be a lack of smartphone and tablet apps to help tie things together. Just remember to keep in mind, though, that with the more gadgets you buy, the more complicated your smartphone (and ultimately, life) will get.
Got a smart strategy for electronic purchases? Let us know!
(Image: Five Four Clothing)