People love new stuff, from smartphones and tech gadgets to furniture and clothes. Most people don’t like keeping the same old stuff around, but why are we so in need to upgrade tech gadgets?
We live in a consumer oriented lifestyle, there is a constant need to consume or economic shit happens.
Don’t believe it? You should, because its real and people starve from it. You can search for International Monetary Fund related stuff on the internet. Enjoy the sad view on European economics gone wrong.
Some say that we buy stuff made to fail by design or look unfashionable after some time, it’s called planned obsolescence and there is in fact proof of some companies doing it. Look around and you can see daily examples of it, especially on the smartphone and tech gadgets market with a short life cycle. Every time you are forced to upgrade this way, you are spending resources and polluting the environment for the sake of companies making easy money.
In a perfect world, stuff would last a lifetime, but we don’t live in a perfect world and stuff will fail sooner or later because some components especially electronic ones will fail after some use even if well designed. Good stuff should last some years before the need to a upgrade.
Upgrades are a necessary evil but with moderation, if you got something that works and does the job why the hell will you buy the next model after a year or even less?
Here is some stuff that can make us upgrade:
Only the best and faster: Some people buy for the sake of faster and faster CPUs and GPUs , better operating systems and better software in general. Most of this stuff is fabricated marketing and normal people don’t actually need a smartphone with a super 10 core CPU.
Style: People love novel stuff, if it’s pretty many of us have the desire to buy it, designer’s toy with that feeling, it works believe me. Every time I look and a new thin metal tablet I feel the desire to buy the new pretty one.
Normal use failure: Ok, stuff will fail after lots of use, it should last a bit before it happens but there´s no way to change the fact that a battery will die after some cycles and you will need to replace it or that a power source will have bad capacitors after some time.
Hype and aggressive marketing: People talk and write about it like crazy and you crave for it because everybody says it’s the next big thing. Hype is dangerous for tech because it’s a fabricated thing, most of hyped stuff will be useless after sometime. Note that I don’t join hype with style because not always what’s hype has style.
Planned failure: This thing sucks and many companies use it to sell more units, “what if we use a slow fan to dissipate that power source? It will die in two years of component failure and we sell another one.” Planned failure is a dangerous thing; now imagine the same power source brakes in to flames and your room burns to the ground, shits happens all the time because of this kind of failures.
Status: Some people want to have status, showing that they have the best money can buy. A curious thing is that most people with status don’t actually think about upgrades, I know some rich people that have old stuff laying around, maybe that’s why they are rich!
So there is more to upgrades that it might show, some people actually want to have the best of the best even if they know they don’t actually need it, some are convinced to buy a new product by aggressive sellers and some just have money to spend.
I know this because I had the pleasure to see this kind of strategies in action and had the bad luck to fall prey for some of those forced nasty upgrades.
I’m not perfect, I also have old stuff laying around my house, from TVs to smartphones, but these days I try to resist upgrading my stuff for the sake of saving some money.