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New And Improved … What A Crock!


Improved wins. So I’m told.

Why is it that my spiffy new car, purchased in October of last year, is old news the day I drove it off the lot?  The lipstick color I’ve been wearing for years is now ‘retired’, my printer is outdated even though I just purchased it 4 months ago, and the computer program I use has been updated twice since I bought it January of this year. Awesome (sarcasm). When is good ever good enough?

Evidently not in this lifetime. New and improved is the name of the game of life these days.

I remember hearing my elders tell me to leave well enough alone. Now I’m the elder (I can’t even type that without cringing) I’m thinking we could benefit from the logic. Keeping up with new technologies, smart phones, gadgets, news formats, culture speech, trends, is important but exhausting.

I have to wonder … is it really all that necessary to have the latest and greatest of everything?

Personally I find comfort in the old ways. And by old ways, I mean my Bluetooth device which I purchased a whopping 4 months ago and has since been rendered obsolete. My car has a fabulous GPS and a destination assist feature that I’m not sure I could ever live without. But its newest model would read my emails and text messages to me. Do I really want my car to sub as my secretary? Hell no.

As a small business owner, writer, and coach, the newest edge, the latest social media site, the hottest new way of doing things and the state of the art equipment comes flying at me so fast and furious it makes my head spin. Every. Single. Day.

When it comes to business, I jump on the trends as they sprout. I need to know what they are, what they do and why I should or shouldn’t use them. I stay current for my business and my clients. If it’s new and happening, chances are pretty good I know about it.

But when it comes to what I affectionately call “real life”, I don’t have the overwhelming urge to be new and improved. Ever. I like living in my old clothes, talking to my old friends and cooking my favorite old recipes. When did old stop being cool?

I don’t  need new. I need real.

I had the opportunity one evening to sit and chat with a renowned photographer. He shared with me that he never travels through the lense of his camera. When I pointed out that was what he did for a living, he corrected me. Taking pictures was his livelihood, not his life. He cautioned me that when you are looking through your camera, you are missing the moment, the breeze, the sunlight and the memory. Duh! Tell that to everyone who uses their smartphones to capture the moment.

So, it comes down to this. In business, I keep my nose to the ground and never let myself slack off when it comes to progressive thinking and the willingness to try new things.

In real life, I turn the technology off. Good is good enough where we live, love, breath and recover from the battery of the insistence of technology.

I think I’ll go put on a 45 vinyl on the old record player and reminisce of simpler days. Like last week when my detergent was the best on the market for one hot minute.

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Lee Lefton - I still have the little powder blue Smith Corona portable typewriter my dad gave me when I completed my high school typing class. It gives me solace from the overwhelming world of technology. I just wish I could find ribbons and whiteout.

Tammy - I SO get it, Lee. By the way, you’re in luck …. I DO have the white out! The ribbons can be found on Amazon. There is still civility in this world. You, sir, are part of mine.

Joan Cooper - Yes Yes !!! I too long for the less stressful time when I was young and people were looked at and seen unlike today as people walk around with a machine gadget in front of their nose. But you see, money now is everything and all of these things are to make more money.

I remember hearing many years ago in my youthful days in Detroit, that Henry Ford almost went broke because he made the Model T car so good it never wore out.

There you have life today in a nutshell. It makes more money – do it.


Tammy - Hi Joan, I do so agree! Steven and I passed a little store yesterday that said smart phone repairs. I thought to myself this man will be going out of business in no time flat. People don’t repair…they replace. Yup, life in a nutshell!

Tana Bevan - “He cautioned me that when you are looking through your camera, you are missing the moment, the breeze, the sunlight and the memory.” True

Tammy, I hear you. A delightful article. I guess it has become old-fashioned to believe that things are meant to be enjoyed or be useful. Enjoyment takes time. With the rate the new & improved is upon us, I don’t see where there’s time for the enjoyment. As for the useful, well, how much time is spent getting up-to-speed, and then once there, how much time is spent debugging, and finally, by the time that is done, what you were speeding along and debugging is obsolete so you keep running to catch up to the newest, which is already oldish by the time you reach it. Me thinketh the hamster wheel has simply changed form.

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