TECH TALK

Tech manufacturers encouraging digital gluttony


Published: Sunday, October 28, 2012 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Saturday, October 27, 2012 at 7:20 p.m.

Gluttony is described as greedy or excessive indulgence. Not surprisingly it is listed as one of the seven deadly sins. This week in particular provides overwhelming proof that tech manufacturers are betting the bank that you and I suffer greatly from digital gluttony.

How else do you describe a week when we got the debut of the iPad Mini along with another "new iPad," just six months after the last "new iPad"? In the same announcement, we got a new iMac and new laptops with Retina displays. These new products come just weeks after the announcement of the iPhone 5 and new line of iPods.

Apple clearly is betting the bottom line your digital gluttony will be at an all-time high right before Santa Claus comes to town.

It's not just Big A, either. Amazon has announced new tablets. Microsoft is tethering all of its new devices together with a fresh new operating system called Windows 8. Google is holding out till next week to announce a rumored new flagship smartphone and a new tablet line.

The choices have gone beyond plentiful to actually nauseous. Going to the tech superstore today is like trying to pick a dozen different doughnuts out of a hundred options. How many doughnuts can we really eat in one sitting? These companies hope we will eat the entire dozen. That is gluttony.

Just because it's fruit does not make it better. Apple is the biggest offender. Somehow my excessively indulgent appetite led me to buy an iPhone 5, iPad, Macbook Pro and 27-inch iMac. Not to mention, across the couch, my spouse is hammering away on a Macbook Air and iPhone 4S.

Collectively we are a house with a half-dozen Apples and a Kindle for good measure. What does one do that the others cannot? Not much, except I can put the phone in my pocket. Still, for a second, I tried to justify a place for a new iPad Mini. Then I realized every outlet in my house is charging some sort of tech device.

I hear about this reborn and repentant Microsoft and the new Surface Tablet. Cue the drool. As much as I love my iPhone 5, I am still curious about the buzz around the Samsung Galaxy. Every time Google puts a new tweak on Android, it makes me want to take it out for a test drive. It's a digital addiction.

Sadly, nothing on the shelf truly makes us happy, so we keep looking and shopping. Putting our hope in the next best thing. Banking that the next new feature will do it or the next software update will get us over the hump.

Not gonna happen. It's an endless loop, and the manufacturers know it. Just lay out all your devices and ask why you need so many. Rather difficult, huh?

At some point we must understand that we can eat the entire dozen doughnuts, but it won't make us full for very long. Just fat. The condition is digital gluttony, and the only surefire cure is to say no.

No to all of the commercials, rumor mills and social media teasing about new products.

We really need only one or two devices to do everything we need to do. Apps can bridge the gap. If we cannot say no at some point, we will somehow end up with all of the devices.

Eventually we will need a house with more outlets to charge them all.

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