I love the anticipatory euphoria right before buying a new gadget.
Did you know there are simple but powerful steps you can take to hold on to this euphoric state beyond the date of purchase?
The tips I offer in this post represent the enlightened way to upgrade your personal technology.
I arrived at the idea of enlightened upgrading after I recently upgraded my phone and computer at the same time. I’ve combined the lessons I learned with my expertise as a psychologist to give birth to a list of the techealthiest ideas for transitioning from a digital jalopy to a gorgeous, glowing device.
10 essential tips for upgrading your gadgets the enlightened way
Tip #1: Plan in advance for buyer’s remorse.
Keep in mind the annoying truth about upgrading your phone, computer or tablet: the hunt for a new device prior to the purchase is usually much more pleasurable than the experience of owning it. Monitor the amount of time you invest in daydreaming about and researching the new product. Eventually the excitement and novelty fades no matter what.
Tip #2: Avoid a potential panic attack by saving your priceless photos and files before you upgrade.
You can save yourself a lot of wasted time and regret in the future with this tip. Come up with a plan to handle the data on your old device before you make the switch. Don’t wait until after you’re already obsessed with your speedy, new device. There’s nothing worse than losing pictures or important files because you weren’t proactive during the upgrading process. Are you relying on cloud storage to keep everything in one virtual place? An external hard drive? Both? Come up with a solid plan for saving the important stuff and consider backing up your files in two places.
I recommend Carbonite as a hassle-free, inexpensive way to protect your data if you use your computer for basic functions and don’t require an exorbitant amount of storage space. Below is a free trial if you’re interested.
Tip #3: Be mindful of how your online hunting behavior affects your life.
Do you tend to get carried away researching your next tech purchase? Does your productivity at work or school suffer? Consider setting time limits for your research. Let’s say you arrive at work at 9am. Promise yourself 10 times that at 9:30am the latest, you will transition into doing what you’re paid to do. Make a deal with yourself that social media gets put on hold if you spend too much time shopping online. Don’t give yourself free reign to hunt at will.
I’m all too familiar with how many hours can be wasted googling options between and within devices prior to making the purchase. Sometimes I visit the same web pages showing a product over and over again just to relive the anticipatory euphoria. I try to keep in mind that losing myself in google searches is almost always more consistently enjoyable than the actual use of the device.
Tip #4: Learn the truth behind your intention to upgrade.
Before you teleport to the promise land with your new technology in hand, try to understand the motivating forces behind your choice to upgrade. Are you looking for a new source of excitement in life? Is the decision motivated by boredom? Your frustration with how long things take to load?
Taking time to understand what motivates you to upgrade will help you decide if your reasons are valid and if the timing is right. (Read “10 Secret Forces Compelling Us to Upgrade Our Gadgets” for a more in depth look at possible motivations.)
Tip #5: Establish a techealthy habit before you upgrade.
Create a new habit that will complement your new technology by promoting balance between your personal digital world and everything else important to you. This way you won’t lose touch with your priorities when you inevitably overuse your new device in the beginning. Some examples of techealthy habits are online journaling, social media breaks, more frequent face-to-face contact with your support network and turning all tones and vibrations off for short periods of time.
Tip #6: Avoid excessive flight into fantasy about what life will be like with the new technology.
If you’re a daydreamer by nature, then there’s probably not much you can do here. For everyone else, it makes sense to temper your visions of an upgraded digital lifestyle. Mild daydreaming about lightning-fast load times and a more powerful camera lense for epic selfies can be healthy and productive by promoting a sense of well-being and hope. Excessive daydreaming about your upgraded life is a different story. It creates expectations that will never be met. A wonderful strategy for reducing buyer’s remorse is to limit how often you picture a better life with your new device. If you must daydream, consider following each flight into fantasy with grounded and realistic thoughts and visions of what your improved digital experience will do for you.Unhappiness comes from too many fantasies of a better life with an upgraded gadget. Click To Tweet
Tip #7: Set limits on how much you allow your exciting new toy to pull you away from important commitments.
Do you tend to skip valuable downtime with your significant other because you get lost in your screens? It’s safe to assume that losing yourself in your new technology will seem as appealing an option as spending time with someone you love. Authorize your partner to let you know if there’s a noticeable change in quality time spent together once you’ve got your hands on your new device. It’s so easy to avoid responsibility when a new level of digital stimulation is available with minimal effort.
Tip #8: This is a painful challenge for many of us, but avoid hoarding old devices.
Hoarding creates physical and mental clutter. If you tend to upgrade often, then you have to find a way to get rid of your older technology. Take action and remove data from old hard drives and phones. You’ll thank yourself once you have less clutter. The tendency to hoard your technology points toward a difficulty letting go of thoughts, memories, or resentments. Getting rid of technology you don’t use anymore is a small but appreciable way to nurture a healthier mental headspace if you have hoarding tendencies. Click here to find information about donating or recycling your old devices.
Tip #9: Be clear about any outside influences pushing you to buy your new gadget.
Who or what is compelling you to upgrade outside of your own research or experience? Are you a sucker like I am for creative TV commercials highlighting what’s possible with your new phone? Was it a hyperbolic friend who convinced you that the new Google phone rocks? Do you tend to feel pressure to be the first to upgrade? Have you done due diligence with researching whether the updated features you worship are worth the price? The goal is to arrive at your own decision separate from outside opinions. When your new purchase feels like a personal choice, your appreciation of the upgrade lasts longer and you avoid, or at least delay, indifference to your device. You also minimize potential disappointment that comes from buying into the promises of smart advertising.
Tip #10: (Pulling it all together here….)…Study the art of “enlightened upgrading” to get the most out life with your new technology.
What is enlightened upgrading? It involves upgrading for the right reasons and in a grounded manner. For example, you’ve avoided disrupting your life through excessive online hunting, you decide you can afford the new device, and you are realistic about what the new gadget will do for your overall happiness.
Enjoy your new technology!