I used to be a collector. Not a collector in the traditional sense where one focuses on a particular hobby like stamps or coins or tea cups. I mean where if I started to get one of something and there was more variations of it, I felt almost compelled to get the rest, even if I realized I wasn’t going to use them. I have quite a few chess books because of this.
My compulsion to want to “complete the collection” also fed into the desire to get the latest and greatest. Case in point: video game consoles. I had a Super Nintendo as soon as I could “afford” one, I bought a Sega Saturn because of Nights Into Dreams, I made sure to be one of the first to get the Playstation when it showed up and I got lucky and was able to find the Playstation 2 in a big box store where they didn’t take pre-orders. A friend won a chance at an XBOX 360 pre-order but he didn’t want it, so I bought it off of him. That last one may have been the best thing I ever did to break these habits.
At the time, there were only one or two games suitable for young children on the XBOX 360. This was before Viva Pinata! The only game we cared about was King Kong. And for a good long time, it was really the only game we cared about available for XBOX 360 for young kids. Eventually, a co-worker offered to buy the 360 off of me because it was just sitting there collecting dust. I sold it and realized I didn’t miss it. That’s when I realized I didn’t need the latest and greatest. Yes, we have an XBOX 360 again, as my boys are teens and there is Viva Pinata and Kinectimals and other titles intended for a younger audience. However, I’ve still not picked up a PS3 and I’ll probably wait a while on Nintendo’s new Wii offering.
Why does all this matter? Because plenty of folks who were happy with their purchases when they made them are unhappy when they are not SOTA (State of the Art – thank you Shadowrun) any longer. For something like the iPad 3, that SOTA period was about 7 months. And that’s spurred the following posts:
My family’s iPad 3 is only a few months old. We obtained it for homeschool and entertainment and at the time we purchased it, it was more than enough for us. How much have things changed with the announcement of the iPad 4? Nothing has changed. It is still more than enough for us. And the thing is that I bet for all those iPad 3 owners out there, they were fine with their iPad 3 until the iPad 4 announcement. So what changed? Only attitudes and desires. The iPad 3 didn’t suddenly rust and corrode and fall apart. It is still just as capable and powerful as it was prior to the announcement.
When we have something that does the job or more, then it’s perfectly fine not having the latest and greatest. We don’t have to keep up with SOTA. In fact, keeping up with SOTA can cause a lot of stress and worry and certainly impacts our finances. There are better places to spend the time and money. Now, if you’ve got something that’s not doing the job or you had already decided to treat yourself, that’s a different story. But if what you have is working for you, be satisfied with it.