I am 72 years old and have upgraded my way through the tech evolutions since the late 1980s. What was once an exciting adventure on a frontier has become something Sisyphean, a never-ending challenge to roll the stone of savvy up the hill of progress. Increasingly, as I address new products or upgrades, new apps, new media, I feel the labor of learning grow more wearisome. I suffer from tech fatigue. When I talk to men and women my age, the phrase I hear most often is, “How do I get off the bus?”
It’s hard to get off the bus when children and grandchildren and the culture at large move on so rapidly from gadget to gizmo to app. We want to stay in touch, be with it, hip, etc., but we resent the amount of time, money and learning that keeping up now requires.
I wonder if you have thoughts about this.
Yes, I have thought endlessly about this. And written about it often.
Unfortunately, the business model of the entire tech industry has become, “Sell more hardware and software by piling on more, more, more features.” That’s how they make you want a new phone, tablet or computer every two years.
So the endless upgrade treadmill is both economic and psychological: We feel inferior if we’re not reasonably up to date.
There are thousands who agree with you about the pace of technological obsolescence. Unfortunately, there’s no end in sight.
I wish you good luck in finding a balance between keeping up to date enough to serve the functions you really need — and resisting the pressure to spend your life caught up in upgrade cycles.
You can email David Pogue here.