The Wall Street Journal's Jason Fry recently penned an article about the various types of technology consumers.
You can read the full story here, but on this American Thanksgiving holiday a day when the newspaper is chock filled with shoppers sending us all off to the best deals at Best Buy, Circuit City, and a whole smorgasbord of other electronics specialty stores I thought it would be a good time to reflect on technology consumerism.
To summarize Fry's piece, he observes there are five primary types of tech consumers: Elite Tinker, Cutting-Edge Explorer, Faithful Mainstreamer, Bugs-Out-Please Latecomer, and the Disaster Magnet.
Use your imagination as to which one I am.
I was the first in my cubicle farm to buy a Handspring Treo (it quickly ended up making a nice addition in my junked technology closet). I had a wi-fi-enabled Palm Tungsten C well before there were ample hot spots in Austin to effectively use it. And I'll be the first to admit, I'm usually the first to buy any new piece of technology, especially if it's breaking new ground. So yes, I fit into the "Cutting-Edge Explorer" category.
Fry writes that the Cutting Edge Explorer "blows through cellphones like Kleenex" and "spends so much time on help-desk that you're upon the latest Bangalore gossip." Guilty as charged. In fact, I was speaking to one of my new colleagues in Bangalore for well over an hour the other day, trying to troubleshoot my VPN client problems so I could try and get to my work email. This as I'm supposed to be on vacation! Can you say "Loser?" Are you holding an "L" to your forehead so that I get the full impact of the universally accepted sign of "Loserdom"?
My most recent cell phone purchase was a Motorola Razr...I didn't buy it only because it was cool...I dropped my Samsung model while floating in a raft down the Guadalupe River over the summer (Did I think it was somehow waterproof??), and stupid me, I forgot to buy the replacement policy.
That's okay, I thought, as I watched my Samsung burble down into the near clear water (Do they make an underwater-capable cell phones yet??). This will give me a perfect opportunity to go phone shopping!
When it came to the Razr, I just couldn't help myself. It looked way cool, like something straight out of "Star Trek," the price was right, and hey, all the characters on "Alias" have one.
So, I just wanted to give thanks on this Thanksgiving holiday for the opportunity I've been given to be a techno-junkie. The turkey's been eaten, the Best Buy circulars are in full abundance, and the credit card is burning a hole in my pocket. Hello, my name's Todd, and I'm a technoholic.
Now, can you tell me if you have wi-fi in here?