OPINION: Advent of new technology sometimes wasted

Sometimes technology's newest and greatest advances aren't necessarily all that awesome in this week's Ponoka News opinion.

Upgrade the cell phone, pick up the lightest and thinnest laptop out there, don’t miss out on the fastest and best camera available.

These are all pitches and commercials that have inundated consumers for years, urging people to buy the latest and greatest products on the market. It’s gotten so bad that a large segment of the public myself included have started tuning out the constant barrage, especially given the fact a new product launch occurs an average of every six months or so.

Yet, just because it’s something new, does it really mean the product is better than its predecessor or constitutes a significant improvement in performance than what you’re currently using?

Not always.

Take for example a product a certain cell phone maker that for lack of a better term exploded onto the market last year.

Aside from burning holes in people’s wallets and other things, the phone wasn’t a huge hit among consumers even before the recall due to its lack of improvements, other than its look, over the previous version.

So, why did people even decide to purchase it?

The status of being the first to have what is deemed to be the latest, greatest, best ever piece of technology although that can apply to virtually any product from homes to nail polish nowadays is certainly a big driver of consumerism today.

Toss in being trendy or wanting to keep up with friends is yet another factor.

However, I believe companies off all sorts technology companies simply do it more often have primed and coerced consumers so much through marketing that people now feel they are going without something if they don’t get it. That the company is doing them a favour in their busy lives by giving them something that can make it easier, faster, more enjoyable.

And that’s too bad, because in the final analysis it all winds up being a complete waste.

How many people actually save time on a task because of having the top of the line technology?

A lot of people think they do, but fail to realize the amount they waste by playing games, perusing the Internet, interacting on social media and trying to figure out all of what the technology can actually do.

And, that fails to include all of the time spent trying to fix or deal with issues when the technology we’ve come to rely on breaks down or crashes completely, leaving us twiddling our thumbs and waiting for tech support to tell us ‘Did you try turning it off and on?’

Of course, I don’t mind using items that make part of my life somewhat simpler. In fact, there are a number of things I use daily that would have taken me days to complete instead of counting it in minutes or hours.

The issue for me is I don’t feel there is much of an advantage to getting something new in order to save a second here or minimally improve something that no one will ever notice.

It is simply a waste of my time to learn something over again, when I can efficiently use my current product to do almost the same job and use the rest of my day for other more worthwhile pursuits.

Playoff run

Well, turns out some of my commentary of the NHL playoffs, so far, was off-base. I was wrong on all but three of the first round series’, only to turn it around in the second round by getting three of four winners correct. So, I’ll try again with the conference finals and I think Nashville will take the Ducks in six, while Pittsburgh will do the same to Ottawa.

But that is…just an observation.