Saturday, August 21, 2010

A New Kind of Tech Frustration

Tech Frustration seems to be common for more people these days.

In our present world, everything is about up-to-date technology, the latest hand-held devices, and nobody can forget about finding the newest apps.  Laptops seem to be getting smaller every year, while phones and blackberries are constantly acquiring new capabilities, seemingly wiping out the need for a computer. Although this technology and amazing new era of communication should be exciting for people all around the world,  some find that this wave of technology leaves them groaning and disappointed.

The reason? It's the same reason these new devices aren't spreading as fast as companies had hoped: Price.

All technology, especially the newest generations, comes at a high cost, and this cost is often too high for the average person, especially in the current economic climate. With the price of new iPhones at over $500, and sometimes even reaching $800, it's no surprise that other rival companies to Apple are coming out with similar devices at a lower cost.  But what frustrates many persons, the most about these devices is that even the alternatives to the iPhone cost hundreds of dollars, and the expenses don't stop with the mere cost of the phone. Depending on what company they buy the device from, they can rack up a cell phone bill averaging hundreds of dollars a month between calling, texting, internet, and data plans, especially if they are buying for their entire family and not just themselves.

And then there's the cost of apps.  A lot of them are free, but others are not.   It is not unusual for some teenagers to have 150 apps on their phones that would cost almost as much as the price of the phone itself.  For some parents, that is the breaking point.  Some parents can't afford dishing out a ridiculous amount of money every month to these companies so that they can receive texts from friends, that text them 50 times a day about the latest Red Sox scores, or so their daughter can check her email and Facebook her friends at school while she's supposed to be paying attention in class.

Now, you probably don't want to be that monster mom or dad that suddenly takes away everybody's cell phone and cuts off their access to everything completely, but you might recognize that some changes need to be made to manage these rising costs.   Some families have to work out compromises, ones that can decrease the family costs while still allowing for the moderate use of this technology. 

Possibly a compromise to keep unlimited texting on the phones, is an OK solution, as that is not the bulk of your phone bill, but instead removing the internet capabilities on your devices, since you already have laptops in the house with wireless internet readily available to you.   Also, you might consider restricting your family to free apps only, since the cost of hundreds of apps might be unnecessarily driving up your expenses.

By limiting the extent of your devices' technology, it can save your family a lot of  unnecessary expenses. Getting past the frustration of the price of technology may take you a bit longer.  But, since the general trend is for prices to come down after a new technology has been on the market for years, you may not have to restrict your devices in the future.

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