Upgrading Technology

State of affairs

I have a self-admitted love affair with technology.  If you are like me, then you share my internal conflict with disposing of or upgrading technology items that still “work”.  Down deep, I feel as if I am cheating on my old electronics; pushing them aside because I found a younger, more attractive model that has caught my eye!  I can practically feel the slap of my wife coming even as I pen those words, as this thought runs in complete contrast to how I manage my relationships.

Relationship is a word not typically used in conjunction with technology, but all of us do become emotionally attached to our tech.  I believe this attachment causes many of us to hold on too long to outdated equipment before pulling the trigger to upgrade.

I see this in my own life as I consider my technology rock stars which are my Apple iPhone 5 and my Microsoft Surface Pro computer.  Anytime I travel, my computer and phone charger are packed in the car well before any other personal items, just to ensure that we won’t be separated.  Unless I am planning to ‘go dark’ on vacation, the thought of not having my business tools at the ready causes me angst.  I am so reliant on these items and spend so much time using them that I have acquired a genuine affinity for them. My approaching conflict is that these items are aging and starting to look less attractive than when I first purchased them.  Two recent events have opened my eyes to my growing emotional bond with these two tech devices.

June 20th, 2014.  Microsoft released their new, fast, sleek, and sexy Surface Pro 3 desktop replacement computer.  I watched the streamed event from my desktop computer while my Surface Pro 1 contently sat idly by my side.  While calculating finances to justify an upgrade to the Surface Pro 3, I experienced a twang of guilt with the thought of retiring my faithful and ageing Surface Pro 1. The truth is that the old model doesn’t measure up when compared to the time-saving and productivity-enhancing features of the Surface Pro 3.

Sept 19th, 2014.  Apple announced their hot, sleek iPhone 6 and 6+.  Again, I watched the event with lustful gaze, admiring the svelte construction of these new devices.  All of a sudden my love affair with my iPhone 5 began to wane.  My older phone has served me very well, but its battery life is shortening and its responsiveness is suffering since upgrading to iOS 8.  The iPhone 6 is a compelling package, with its larger screen and improved capabilities.  Again, there is business justification for upgrading my iPhone 5, but I still feel like I am putting an old friend on an ice float and pushing her out to sea.

Dancing plates

Assuming that we have the finances to do so, why do we experience an internal conflict when considering to replace aged hardware?  We could probably blame Disney Studios for this, as we affectionately watch candlesticks sing and dance alongside of adorable plates and smug flatware.  Somewhere along the way, we developed relationships with our technology, some full of love and others roiling with hate.  So for those items that have served us well, the thought of turning them into the electronics recycling center causes a chill to run up our spines, feeling as if we are sending these faithful servants to their premature death by upgrading technology.  Pulling them off of the recycling pile, we scream ‘they still work!”

Putting my emotions aside, I need to rest on the truth that, “just because it turns on does not mean that it’s not broken!”  None of us have trouble replacing or upgrading technology that is broken.  In fact, sometimes we look forward to them breaking so that we have clear justification to purchase updated items.  That said, I cannot tell you how many companies I regularly see that refuse to dispose of their old or broken technology, instead finding a corner in the basement or on a shelf to warehouse these worthless items indefinitely.  How many of us are guilty of still having an old beige-colored computer sitting in our basements, buried under piles of other keepsake ‘treasures’?  Parting with broken equipment is generally pretty easy, but why do we feel the need to hang on to our old technology when it still powers up?  To bring peace to our souls, we need to redefine the word ‘broken’ so that we can find freedom with upgrading technology and to dispose of our past technology, guilt-free.

We generally define broken to mean ‘not functioning’, which is accurate although incomplete.  If we broaden the definition a little we can define broken as ‘the failure of an item to maintain its original purpose or value’.

Without question, technology’s primary objective is to improve our quality of life, which has its essence in time management.  Time is our life’s most valuable resource.  As much as we wish they would, our clocks refuse to slow down; they continue to march on relentlessly minute by minute and hour by hour.  Our only attack against the continuously sweeping second hand is to be able to speed up our productivity so that we can accomplish more tasks in less time; effectively slowing down Father Time.  By upgrading technology, we deploy the only weapon available to us to battle against time so that we never find ourselves wasting seconds waiting for our electronics to catch up to our commands, but instead we are freed to operate at full throttle, maximizing our personal performance and life potential.

If you happen to find yourself in a love affair with old technology; it’s time to send the Dear John (or Jane) letter and make a clean break.  Remember, just because it turns on, doesn’t mean that it’s not broken. Contact us and setup a systems assessment to see if upgrading technology is an option for you.