Let technology marinate

9_early adopter

Why you should let tech ripen and avoid being an early adopter

By Elliot Chan, Opinions Editor
Formerly published in The Other Press. November 4, 2014

When new technology is released to the public there is often a party of people who approach it with absolute frenzy. The mystique of new technology is certainly alluring, since innovation is seen as a remarkable achievement. However, it’s that mystique that should leave consumers wary of new technology, be it the latest app, smartwatch, tablet, smartphone, or other new tech.

You should always embrace new technology, but it’s not necessarily important to wait in line for days outside the Apple Store. We’re living in a time where we are governed by tech. We use it for work, we use it for entertainment, and yes, we use it for pretty much everything else imaginable. But what we should know is that technology will move us, it’ll teach us to adopt it as it grows. We shouldn’t go out our way for it and we should stop treating it like a false messiah.

There is no reason to get a product as soon as it hits the shelves, aside from having the small claim to fame as being the guy with the latest gadget. For many of those people the way of thinking is: you shouldn’t wait because technology moves at such a fast pace that if you don’t get this newest item now, it’ll be old news when the next new release is out. Although I understand that sentiment, I cannot condone it.

Getting new technology for the sake of having new technology will only lead to disappointment. Why? It’s because a product or a service generally takes a certain amount of time in order for it to hit critical mass. No doubt the faster you join something the more experienced you’ll be once it becomes popular, but you’ll also be a guinea pig for the first few quarters as the producers and designers determine its true functionality.

New products have complications in a few categories. 1) New devices, products, and even services will have compatibility problems. 2) As a beta tester for a new technology, you’ll be exposed to defective tools with bugs and glitchy software. 3) New products will naturally be more expensive and their value will depreciate as soon as you purchase them, making them poor investments with little resale value.

Although marketers are always looking for early adopters for their products, we should understand that owning premature technology might in fact be a frustrating experience. Remember how choked you were every time Facebook updated its layout without your permission? With that in mind, enjoy the technology you have for a little longer, and allow gadgets to depreciate and new technology to appreciate.

Don’t fall victim to the hype. As life changing as technology is, it takes a community to adopt it, not just an individual. So wait.

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