Living in the Technological Past

This week, I’ve been fighting the urge to upgrade my phone, which I’ve been using for the last five years, and it’s made me think about some of the other technological marvels that I own, some of which I have upgraded.

My car: the Suzuki Wagon R

I’ve had my Suzuki Wagon R for about 10 years. Before that, I had another Suzuki Wagon R, both of them bought used, and both of them silver. When I think about my car and what I use it for, I see it as simply a tool to get me from A to B. I certainly don’t need a “better” car to do exactly the same thing.

My Gaming PC

Unlike my car, I’ve made some poor choices when it comes to my PC. I was seduced into upgrading my graphics card and getting SSD drives – all because of the promise of better graphics and faster loading times. Sure enough, they do give a marginal improvement, but honestly? The difference wasn’t worth the price.

My TV

I’ve also upgraded my TV, going from 28″ to 49″. In that case, I made the decision to buy the cheapest I could find, and only use it as a monitor. For the price I paid, it’s been brilliant. I can read text on the screen from the comfort of my bed, and the visuals are as good as I need.

Why should you upgrade?

So looking at the above examples, I conclude that you should only upgrade when a) you have a pressing need that your current device can’t fulfil, and b) the improvement over your current device is significant.

Should I upgrade my iPhone 7?

My phone is five years old. For the most part it works okay with its new battery, except that it runs very hot around the power button when using the internet. It’s especially a problem for video calls – which also drain the battery quickly.

Photo by Sara Kurfeß on Unsplash

I’m quite happy with the phone’s camera, the speed of the device, and everything else, so I really question whether it’s worth splashing upwards of 60,000 yen on a slightly improved version of something I already own. So long as I don’t spend too long on the internet or making video calls, I reckon my iPhone 7 will last me at least another year.

Not keeping up with the Joneses

This all leads me to question whether we can live comfortably on older tech. I think it makes financial sense to hang out a few generations behind or below the latest and greatest tech models. What about you?

I always used to chase the best, but now I’m quite content to live in mediocrity!

If you like, you can find me on Twitter at @nick_ramsay. I'd love to hear from you!

5 thoughts on “Living in the Technological Past

  1. Another great blog post! I can totally relate. For example, I keep wanting to buy an electric car because I think the tech is super cool. The problem is that the cost is still pretty high and I have a great car that meets all my needs. Is it perfect? Nope, but it’s an absolute bargain for what it costs and does all the things that I need it to do.

    I’ve had my tv since 2015 and I’m pretty happy with it. I only bought it because I was moving and I needed a second tv since I knew my job would be temporary. When I returned after finishing my job, I ended up selling my older tv. I guess that makes my current tv 7 years old, but I have no complaints. Hopefully it lasts a few more years.

    I bought the iPhone 12 when it came out two years ago. Previous to that, I had a 5 year old iPhone 6s Plus. It was on it’s second battery and had some other issues from when I accidentally dropped it in some salt water. I love the 12, the camera is soooo much better than what I used to have.. I’m hoping to get 5 years out of it… If it lasts that long I won’t feel guilty replacing it.

    I don’t need the latest and greatest, but when it comes time to replace something I don’t feel guilty buying something that’s current. I just try to get my use out of it and I get a lot of satisfaction from that.

    1. Yes, it’s tempting to go for something eco-friendly like a Tesla, but if you do, it’ll quickly be succeeded by a superior model.

      I just learned that Apple will drop support for the iPhone 7 this autumn, so I’m feeling more pressure to upgrade.

      1. I’ve test driven a few electric cars and honestly I just love how they drive. Not having to go to the gas pump is another nice thing too… Yeah there will always be improvements, but thats like everything else.. Going from gas to electric is like going from a dumb flip phone to an iPhone.. so I think I’ll be entertained for a while….

        Yeah I think 5 years is nothing to feel bad about if you get something new… and if there is no support then it makes it an even smarter decision.

  2. I had an older iPhone 8 and the battery life was getting too bad for normal use. After I came out of SoftBank shop I had a brand new iPhone (still an iPhone 8 but later model) and a cheaper monthly plan. Win win!

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