Put an End to the Endless Upgrade Cycle

Put an End to the Endless Upgrade Cycle

Eric Chen
Nov 8, 2011
Do you think we're due for an upgrade?

For those us of that are technophiles, we're constantly bombarding ourselves with news about the latest, best devices we're going to next lust after. Every year 6 months, many of us look on with envy at our friend's newest smartphone, while feeling sad that we're stuck with our "last generation" phone for another year. But an interesting article over at BoingBoing got us thinking about putting an end to this cycle of unnecessary want...

Need vs Want. It all comes down to these two factors. When manufacturers announce new features, we are often blown away by the newest feature and how they make our lives easier. Our lives could be so much better if we have a camera with more pixels and we all need a virtual personal assistant on the go. When you feel like you're blown away by the latest features from your favorite smartphone maker, slow down take a deep breath. Think about whether the new feature is actually beneficial to you. Could you live without these features? Basically, think in terms of needs and wants. Do you NEED a better graphic card or do you just WANT a better graphic card?

Cost vs benefit. The next thing to consider is cost vs benefit. Consider how much upgrading will benefit you, this can be as concrete as the hours you'll save by getting a new laptop or just the simple joy of using the device. Factor in the cost of the item, is shaving a few seconds off your computer's load time really worth the $1400 price tag? How much would you pay to have tunes for your morning commute? Imagine how getting a new device is going to help or improve you life and how much you'd realistically pay for that improvement.

Find an alternative. Consider whether some of the things you already own already fulfills your needs. That point-and-shoot camera that's been buried in your drawer probably still takes a better picture than that new smartphone. Perhaps the "crappy" MP3 player you got for Christmas three years ago will still do its job. This is a great way to rediscover a gadget that you may already own or you could even repurpose the old gadget to fit your needs now. Always examine what you have now and how they will fit in your life.

Find a use for old tech before you upgrade. Finally, if you can't resist the urge of an upgrade, make sure you aren't simply throwing out your old technology. A popular option is to sell your old device, a lot of people who aren't chasing the trend are likely to be help with the "last generation" device that you're replacing. Maybe pass on your old technology to the younger generation of the family, who don't need to have the newest features and are likely to be a little more careless about technology.

Donate or recycle your old gadgets. If you can't find a use for your old technology or if your kids scoff at the suggestion of a pass-me-down, try donating your old technology, many charity will be happy to take old tech off your hands. As the very least, recycle your old technology, much of the components in your devices can be reused, and many recycle centers today are well equipped to handle it.

Upgrading is a habit of the technology world. If it weren't for people like us, who are constantly upgrading, innovation may come at a much slower pace. But definitely make good use of your old technology, so our habit only hurts our wallet, not mother nature.

What are your thoughts on old technology? Do you have some tips for our readers on how to deal with old technology? Let us know in the comments below!

(Image: Indi.ca licensed for use under Creative Commons)

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