Bad Tech Phobia - The thought of New Gadgets Breaking

Details 24/3/2008 Categories Observations.
I've read that gadgets and the internet have been reported to be addictive, as well as the cause of all kinds of stress ("Still waiting for that all important email, that should have arrived by now?") Well, I've experienced something far worse. It happens way before the addiction has a chance to kick in.

I've recently bought the new Macbook Pro laptop and Apple's Time Capsule. I had planned on these purchases as a complete and overdue upgrade to my existing hardware set-up and back-up system.

I only do something like this every four years or so. I'm not a gadget freak out with my credit card every time Apple farts out a new product or upgrade, so I do consider myself a "normal" consumer when it comes to technology, bar the odd gush of appreciation for sleek, aluminium-cased designs.

However, perhaps its the infrequent purchases, and my consequent reliance on these product's reliability that cause this slight phobia that I have.

I always take my time to create a new set-up, software-wise, as it gives me the chance to flush out any old application cobwebs I never knew I had, in order to have a nice, new machine. As part of the process, I back-up anything I still want to keep, more so in this case, as I'm having to transfer all my archive files onto the Time Capsule as well, so this period can be quite intensive on the hardware.

However, as with most new things, you're never quite sure if something should be doing something the way it does. I've noticed the odd clicking sound. The persistent humming and whirring. And the odd flickering of the screen. Lights are changing amber and green. And flashing. Does the manual explain that?

Honeymoon period this isn't. Its rather like beginning a long and important journey you're taking with your car. After it becomes too late to turn back, you start to notice the odd spluttering in the engine every now and again. You wonder whether that's happened before. And then you wonder whether it will happen again, only far worse. And so the rest of your journey, you have this worry that something will go wrong, your car breaks down, and then you're stranded.

Gadgets, like cars, can and will break down. It's something most of us will have experienced, so we're not really surprised when it does happen. But the worse thing, is when you've just bought something and then it starts to break. Sure, you have the warranty, but that doesn't give you back the time you've inconvenienced yourself with in setting a new machine or with any delays in getting a replacement. And don't get me started on stuff breaking after a month out of warranty!

I haven't been able to find much on this - maybe its an as yet unpublicised condition, but for now, I call this "bad tech phobia". The worrying thought that the new piece of technology you've just spent an arm and a leg on, will break. It causes anxiety! It causes undue stress! Or maybe its just me.

It doesn't have to be new technology as such, though that doesn't help. It could simply be existing, proven hardware technology, and you've simply be sold a faulty product.

Thankfully, in my case, nothing has gone wrong so far. My new laptop is still whirring away contently, and I'm slowly becoming accustomed to the sounds its making when its healthy.

But it could still happen. Give it a few months and the phobia will probably slowly but reluctantly fade away like a bad dream. Until the moment my warranty runs out after twelve months, and then "post tech warranty phobia" kicks in.


Sounds a little bit like buyers remorse? Posted by TK10 in UK on 20/04/08 at 02:34 PM

I'm not so sure - I don't usually regret what I buy as I do tend to think carefully whether I need something.

But its an interesting thought. It could apply to the fact that you NEED to buy something (I.e. Macbook Pro for work) but that thinking it might go wrong, could be indicative of our expectations as consumers. Maybe?
Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 20/04/08 at 07:03 PM

Digital media goes on and on! Posted by Laptoper on 23/04/08 at 07:46 AM

If you are getting the tech support from India, then you are screwed. I'm mocking their tech skills. But there is a lingo problem. Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 16/05/08 at 05:16 AM

Gadgets are becoming more and more popular these days. However, one needs to really be into this to know what coming Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 10/06/08 at 07:37 AM

I am like this with anthing new of value that I buy. Worrying about every little sound it makes etc and if I got a Friay afternoon special.

A few months down the line I will be throwing said item into the back of my car with little regard to its safety.
Posted by Fenix in UK on 13/06/08 at 01:45 PM

That's so true Fenix! When something has surpassed it's initial value, I adjust my estimation of the risk I'm willing to take in the said value's handling! Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 13/06/08 at 08:45 PM

I guess it is a part of life. You pick up the remains and move on.! Posted by Suzuki on 18/08/08 at 11:56 AM

People can blame the companies, but if there was a market for more durable products.I'd love to have a phone that will last 5 years, but I don't want the extra weight and cost. Posted by arizona web design in around on 18/08/08 at 06:06 PM

Great article,very well said. Definitely going to pass along to a few folks that will agree 100%. Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 28/08/08 at 06:16 PM

Hey, it's worth it to be an Apple addict 😊 Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 03/09/08 at 05:28 PM

Digital Media Rocks! Posted by psd to html on 18/09/08 at 02:24 AM

Giving up on technology would be kind of difficult for any person today no matter what age. Each of us uses more or less technology, but nobody uses zero technology... Posted by Google in Gogglemania on 10/10/10 at 08:31 PM

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