Guiltless Gadgeteering

Let me begin by acknowledging that I have something of a problem when it comes to electronic devices. Well, that’s just it, though – “problem” is too pejorative. More to the point, is that I feel a greater-than-normal enthusiasm for gadgets (meaning of course smartphones, tablets, PCs and the like), and have made something of a hobby out of playing with, thinking about, reading about, writing about, evaluating, and acquiring them. The problem, really, is that we’re talking about relatively expensive items, and so the hands-on part of this enthusiasm/hobby is something of a challenge (thus making the act of browsing through a Best Buy a kind of luxury for me), the frustration of which my enthusiasm only exacerbates.

One result of this is that I spend an inordinate amount of time and energy mulling and chewing over not only imminent purchases when they are possible, but also potential purchases I might have made, sensing greener grass over every fence – but I do find it fun and interesting as well. The worst part about that, though, is that this mulling and any attempts to sate my curiosity then induce guilt.

But why should it? If we assume that my deliberations and frequent device-swapping aren’t costing my family money (which we can assume because I don’t make any moves unless they’re more or less “revenue neutral”), what’s the problem? The only real cost is trouble, the efforts to consider, decide, procure and divest. But I take them on solely, so I’m the only one dealing with it. So really, if I’m swapping devices at a higher rate than most normals, so what? Everyone’s gotta have a hobby. Stamp collectors and people into Beanie Babies (is that still a thing?) don’t feel guilt. I assume.

I’m thinking about this lately because of a recent internal debate about iPad Air vs. Retina mini (a debate now ended in favor of the Air, so no swaps needed), which of course recalls previous years’ switcheroos, plus my recent carrier-motivated move from iPhone to Android. And now that I’m in Android, without much experience with the platform, I’m forming better ideas about the kind of device I really want (as opposed to a best guess from what was available), and thus, another swap might be on the horizon. And I don’t want to have to feel guilty or decadent or frivolous about it. I just want to do it, and have some fun with it. I can do that, right?

The preceding four paragraphs are really my way of saying, I’m going to check out the Moto X for a couple of weeks pretty soon, and see if I want to swap my Nexus 5 for it.

And I’m not gonna feel the least bit bad about it. That’s the goal, anyway.

Besides, my wife said it was okay.

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