The Best Upgrade Is You

Patrick Rhone:

The point here is that we are very easily taken in by the promise that buying or upgrading to some new thing will measurably improve our lives. I propose that, if we learned how to fully use what we already had better, such depth of knowledge and skill would have a far greater and more lasting impact. That, especially with those tools we use every day, getting better at them will reap the greatest reward. There is likely some feature or use-case that we don’t even realize we need until we know it and when we do we will be thankful we learned it.

Ahead of Apple's event this afternoon, Patrick's post provides a fitting moment of logical reprieve.

For many, the presumed iPad "Mini" will be a superfluous purchase. That's not to say the "Mini" will be without its endearing charms. In fact, I suspect the device will be a beautiful feat of human engineering.

But, conversely, I would imagine that a huge volume of this weblog's readers are already long-standing iPad owners, for whom a smaller iPad may be rendered somewhat of a luxury item. The oft-rumored device is, as Shawn Blanc writes, probably not targetted at consumers such as ourselves, but a newer demographic of potential iPad users.

Obviously I do not wish to decry or dismiss the iPad "Mini" ahead of its launch. That would be an illogical and ignorant thing to do. I do, however, wish to underline some semblance of reason ahead of the inevitable frenzy of consumerism that will follow Apple's event.

For all of this, I'm not writing to you, but to myself two or three hours into the future. I'm a long-standing iPad owner, I use a Kindle Paperwhite for my reading, and I have a superfluous Nexus 7 for miscellaneous reading and experimentation. Regardless of the hype, I would do myself a disservice if I were to allow myself to be swept up in the coming frenzy.

Patrick is right. For people like me — people who own excessive quantities of amazing tools and devices — we repeatedly do ourselves harm by convincing ourselves into upgrading relentlessly.

So, today, barring any jaw-dropping surprises, I'm going to attempt an exercise in self-control. Whether I'm able to succeed with that task, however, has yet to be seen.