Is there such a thing as ‘too much tech’?


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By now we’ve all come to terms with the fact that, as soon as we upgrade or buy a new smartphone, it will likely be obsolete within the hour. Announcements and leaks hit the web every day and if, like me, you’re due a new device, you find yourself thinking ‘should I wait for X, or buy Y now?’

And there it begins. The struggle of the modern smartphone lover. Each new release promises bigger and better things, higher screen resolution, higher pixel count camera, bigger processor. The list goes on and on. The question is though, do we really need a 16 megapixel camera on a telephone, only to be consistently told by experts that it’ll never replace a DSLR?

Do we need a dual-core processor capable of encoding HD video of your cat with a paper hat on its head, whilst simultaneously playing an MP3, checking the weather in Azerbaijan and informing you that one of your ‘friends’ from school has invited you to play Farmville or Mafia Wars (or something equally as banal and toe-curlingly annoying), whilst getting so hot that it leaves you at risk of a ‘Raiders of the Lost Ark’ style logo brand into the palm of your hand!

Personally, I don’t.

I’m a pretty heavy user of technology, and like millions of other people I crave the next upgrade, the bleeding edge revision and the re-invention. I love to play video games, to edit video of my kids (or pets), to listen to music and all the other things that people rely on technology for on a daily basis, but the truth is, I don’t need to do it all on my phone, and especially not at the expense of said phone’s raison d’être.

We’ve seen issues with various new devices where the way you hold the phone affects whether or not you can make a call, but it’s okay because you look damn cool while you’re standing there, moving your hand around and doing the ‘looking for a signal’ dance.

Like most people, on the train I like to be able to browse the web, or Tweet but I really don’t need all the other accoutrements that device manufacturers seem to think I do. Quite honestly, I’d prefer them to spend their time developing longer lasting batteries, stronger materials and perhaps even work toward making the whole shebang a little more reliable, but I can’t see that happening any time soon.

Until then I’ll sit and gaze in awe at the marvels of modern technology that manufacturers are able to produce because, even with my cynicism, I can’t ignore the skill and ingenuity involved in making something so small, so feature packed and fast.  Maybe it’s just my age?

Perhaps I’m longing for the good-old-days when you could sit down with a phone in your pocket without worrying about taco’ing the paper thin screen, or looking like you’ve got a Gideon’s Bible shoved down your slacks, who knows?

Who am I kidding? I’ve already got my Nokia N8 on pre-order and I’ll no doubt be at the front of the queue when the first Marvell tri-core powered smartphone goes on sale.

I’ll still be a romantic luddite in my dreams, though.

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