Tuesday, October 21, 2014

On Dating an Early Adopter

Creative Commons image from Flickr user Brad Frost
My boyfriend loves the latest. The latest what? Yes, exactly. The latest everything.

Health tracker?


Social media platform?
     Yes. (Don’t ask me why I still have a Foursquare account...I didn’t want it in the first place.)

Gaming system?

I, on the other hand, am not an early adopter (in my work life, yes; in my personal life, nope). Let’s just put it this way: I watch Matlock. I still have a TV/VHS player combo. I love vinyl albums. I still wear t-shirts from high school.  It took me 6 month, maybe even 9 months, to update my cell phone to the last operating system, and now you want me to do it again?!

I’m not saying I don’t enjoy and appreciate progress. I definitely do! It’s just that I don’t like unexpected problems popping up… Let me break it down.


  • Bugs! Software glitches. Errors. Lost files. Frozen screens. Inaccurate navigation maps. No thanks. Not until you work the glitches out. See you in 3 years, new iOS. 
  • Recalls. How annoying is it to just get started with something only to have to send it back for a replacement, repair, or refund? Why not just wait for the updated version to come out? 
  • Money. New things are expensive (whether it’s financial or time to figure it out--both of which are very valuable). I’m the kind of person who doesn’t like to buy something without having the cash in hand, and I like knowing that what I’m buying is going to be valuable, useful, durable, and something I’ll appreciate for a long time. Sometimes these new technology pieces are just fads. I wait it out. 
  • I drop things. I'm not proud of it. New things tend to be fragile. See previous bullet point about things being expensive. 
  • My boyfriend often tells me “You should start using this” or “Why aren’t you on this?” or “I think you’d really like this” or “If you had this then you could just do ….” Very considerate, but just because he likes something doesn’t mean I’m going to like it. Plus, I’m stubborn sometimes. 
  • I’m trying to simplify, reduce clutter, and appreciate what I already have. Why add another device to the pile, or another app to juggle or waste more memory? 


  • He helps me know what the latest thing is so I know what the heck I’m reading about on Mashable. 
  • I get to enjoy the benefits of new technology without having to deal with having it myself. Want to try out this app? No problem, I’ll just use his phone/tablet/television/all-the-things to learn my skills so that by the time I update/new purchase whatever it is I’m actually capable of using it right away! 
  • He and the technology developers (I suppose they get some credit here) get all the bugs worked out by the time I work up the energy or desire to update my technology. Fewer annoying glitches! 
  • It all balances out and eventually I stop being stubborn if I feel like the technology is actually something I could/should use. 
  • He gets really excited, and I love seeing him get really excited. Enthusiasm is attractive. 

So, while we don’t exactly have the same approach to this aspect of life, it all seems to work out. How about you? What's your take on early adoption? What about times when you and your partner's differences compliment each other?

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