Tech Spec: Today’s Tech Gripes

Technology has its faults. Photo by Courtland Jeffrey.

Being the go-to tech guy for some means hearing all of the gripes about the technology community.

Listening to parents’ issues with the technology community (like mine, for example), listening to friends as they ask for troubleshooting advice has brought me to the realization that there are a few of the same complaints among consumers. These complaints were not directed at their device in particular, but rather to the entire setup of the technological ecosystem.

Many of these complaints, like the life of a product and pricing, are valid and need to be addressed.

Product life is the problem on everyone’s mind lately, because many want to keep up with the latest and greatest bits of technology. Remember the day when everyone would keep his or her device until it broke and then decide to upgrade? Sadly, for reasons like a device being “out-of-date” or it lacking the newest and coolest features, people move on from their phone (which was probably released within the last year) to the brand new one that sports slightly nicer specs.

The issue here is figuring out what exactly qualifies as “out-of-date.” My understanding is that a device is truly nearing the end of its life cycle under certain conditions. If the device is becoming more of a hassle to use (for instance, if the screen is cracking and unresponsive or the battery life is dwindling) or if the company that produced the device is discontinuing software updates for the device (this is more a sign of aging, because the device can still function without the newest updates) then it may be time to invest in a new device. I try to maintain a two-year rule; keep my device for at least two years before I decide whether to upgrade.

The other problem that needs to be addressed with the previous statement is the lack of new and cool features.

Technology companies need to slow down. It is mind-blowing to see the new technology as it progresses with time, but constantly cramming it into a new device and making the last model look inadequate is slowly killing the consumer. While, yes, it is partly the fault of the consumer because they keep buying the new devices, the responsibility falls on the companies who need to take their time and further perfect their devices before release.

The other problem is pricing. The cost of a smartphone, tablet or laptop can be as high as $700, and many cannot afford such an insane price tag. If companies really want to produce new devices at the speed they are moving, they need to make it affordable.

Until consumers get the fullest use out of their devices and companies make devices that are more price-friendly, the technology world needs to slow down.

I would be the last to say that I would not want the newest and nicest devices, but in today’s economy, keeping up is not an option. Technology companies, please take into account the consumer’s want, but also our needs. We cannot have our digital cake and eat it too.

 

Let me hear about some of your complaints! Message me on Twitter @Court_Jeffrey or email me at cejeffre@asu.edu. Enjoy.