The Gadgets We Buy, But Never Use

from the oh-so-true dept

I come by my gadget obsession honestly. When I was a kid, I remember my father bringing home from work one day an “automated envelope opener” that a friend of his had sold him. It was a little box with a small slot, wide enough for a typical envelope. You slide the envelope through the slot, and a little motor kicks in, grabbing the envelope and zipping it through, while popping out a spinning blade to slice off just the tiniest bit of the top of the envelope. We both thought this gadget was amazing, and would change our lives. It was so fun to open up envelopes this way. Of course, after the first day of use, the device ended up in a drawer, and no one ever bothered to pull it out and actually use it ever again. We’re not alone. Plenty of “early adopter” types have this problem, I’m sure. You go out and buy the latest cool technology that you absolutely must have and rave about how it’s going to change your life, and then put it in a drawer and never use it again. Either they’re more complicated than we expected or they’re less useful – or both. The reactions in the article from folks who have this “problem” are quite interesting, as they’re very introspective about their gadget buying ways. Some people blame advertisers, though, that seems like a bit of a cop out.

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Comments on “The Gadgets We Buy, But Never Use”

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Oliver Wendell Jones (profile) says:

Pass 'em on

I am an early adopter. I buy lots of gadgets. After I get bored with them I put them in a box and wait for the next computer show or hamfest, or if I’m really anxious to get rid of them – ebay.

Sure, I never get back what I put into the gadget(s), but I let someone else get a good deal on an item that I’ve already had my use of.

Chris says:

Re: Pass 'em on

Some of the examples are questionable. I’m not sure a CD-RW drive or a scanner qualify as “gadgets” anymore. I own just about everything they mentioned in the article. A digital camera completely transformed how we archive our pictures. A GPS has provided countless hours of fun with the kids goecaching. Maybe the difference is that I buy these things as “toys”, so my expectations are lower to start with.

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