Being a pioneer is overrated. The latest in “smart” technology has introduced a flood of conveniences into your home. Everything from thermostats to fridges have been updated and automated to anticipate and solve your problems, at least on the service. However, this wave of exciting new gadgets brings its own dangers, too. Just because technology lets you do it doesn’t mean you should. I remember my mother telling me, “If your friend jumps off a bridge are you going to jump off too?” Well, if your friends use stupid apps, should you be using them? If your friends have smart houses, should you be using them? Not necessarily. I’m a big fan of letting somebody else be the guinea pigs and the beta testers. I’m too old and too cautious to want to be a pioneer. Pioneers have arrows in their back. When you have a choice, wait. Wait for a year, 5 years, 10 years and see how the technology bears out; not all new shiny things are wonderful. Some of the new, shiny technologies are going to cost you more money and more peace of mind than the joy you’ll get out of them.
I believe in being an informed consumer, and you also get to save money doing it. Don’t buy the latest gadget, don’t buy the smartest fridge on the planet, don’t buy the smartest TV, and you’ll save money. In the long term, you’ll also probably have better privacy and security. And in the meantime do your homework. Consider not only if you can afford it, but also if it is the right technology to introduce in your home. An engaged consumer looks at not just the cost and the benefits, but also the downsides, and buys things after getting educated. We can’t just say, “We should buy this because it’s available for sale.” Do your homework. Is it the right thing to buy?
German Police warn parents against posting kids photos’ to Facebook: www.bbc.com/news/technology-34539059
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