Friday, September 23, 2016

Techno-Challenged Mom Rant



I am a little late sharing this think that I thunk about the iphone 7.  This most recent permutation of phones that are way smarter than most of their owners was launched September 16, 2016.

That was a whole week ago!

In a market that thrives on the principles of planned obsolescence, a week is like a lifetime.By the time I get the packaging off a new gadget or gizmo, the next generation is already on the market.

So ... the main innovation of the iphone 7 is water resistance. That is a good thing. My flip phone died a tragic death in a pocket of my jeans. It didn't survive the rinse cycle. But I would not have flopped my flip phone when it was still functioning just to get a phone that is water resistant. I had this old fashioned notion that a phone was for making phone calls, and if it does that successfully then why do I need a new one? I've just finally figured out how to use this one.

My mother taught me that you don't buy something new when the old one doesn't need to be replaced yet. I tried to pass this value on to my kids. When we did buy them new stuff, I would strongly encourage them to try to sell their old stuff on our next garage sale. Despite their frustration at selling the 'old' for far less than what they cost (if they could sell them at all), they never seemed to catch on to the idea that if something old still works, they don't need the new. It's like buying a new car and driving it off the lot - the new depreciates as soon as you pay for it.

But for the kids, a phone is not just a phone anymore. It's the internet connection, GPS unit, TV remote, and Pokemon finder, with apps for doing everything anyone could ever think of getting a phone to do. I have read some reports complaining that the new iphone 7 is lacking a headphone jack. Apparently word from Apple is that there wasn't space for the port.

I am thinking that one of these days, smart phones will have to leave off other familiar functions in order to prioritize space for new ones. Like maybe in a couple more generations your phone will be able to save your life with an onboard defibrillator. You just won't be able to call 911; there wasn't room for an app to make phone calls.