Is upgrading software and hardware becoming an unhealthy obsession?

According to this recent article, it is. People instinctively want to upgrade their gadgets like mobile phones, Tablet PCs, computers and laptops. Until a few years ago, it used to be just the software. Whenever there was a new version out, you wanted to install it, or upgrade it. But hardware? It was upgraded only when the existing hardware configurations couldn’t accommodate the new software.

I agree that it is becoming an obsession especially when it comes to gadgets. People not only own multiple gadgets that solve the same purpose (for instance, owning smart phones from different companies) they also want to switch over to the newer version as soon as it is available. For example, whenever there is a new iPhone or iPad or even a Samsung Galaxy phone is introduced, if people can afford it, they upgrade it. Sometimes they upgrade it even when they cannot afford it (thanks to credit cards).

With some software it makes sense to upgrade, especially when it is freely and easily available, for instance WordPress (software used to publish this blog). One must upgrade to the latest version because it always comes up with security patches – the latest version is always more secure than the previous one. If somebody hacks into your account and you hadn’t upgraded, they are going to say, well, you didn’t upgrade.

Another bit of software that you need to regularly update is your antivirus software. Obvious reason.

You can also upgrade free source and open source software like most of the browsers and Linux-based operating systems such as Ubuntu simply because you just have to download them and upgrade your copy (but if you don’t have use for their new features you will be simply wasting precious hours downloading, upgrading and then tweaking).

If there is no security reason and unless the latest features aren’t helping you achieve more of what you intend to do, upgrading, especially when you have to pay for it, doesn’t make sense. You are simply wasting time and money.

Regarding gadgets, well, as my wife always says, these companies have to sell and they have to sell repeatedly. That is why every six months or even three months they are coming up with new features to entice new customers as well as existing customers – it is a never-ending thing. As far as business goes, I think this is a necessary evil that we have to live with.

Provided you have got loads of money with you, you can purchase and upgrade as many gadgets as you feel like (I would) but if you are stretching your budget simply because you cannot resist the craving for the latest gadget, I think you have got a problem. I crave for gadgets, but I have never even purchased an iPod, leave alone an iPhone or an iPad or even the Samsung Galaxy phone (I own a Samsung Galaxy Tab that was gifted to me by my father) simply because I would rather spend that money on my family, or save it.

5 thoughts on “Is upgrading software and hardware becoming an unhealthy obsession?

  1. Whitemagpie

    Its not the hardware or software. People are becoming numb and dont know how to keep themselves excited or upgrade their thinking. They get bored easily and need to rely on external stuff to kill their boredom

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