I recently discovered this pretty nifty little device called an iPhone – it’s kind of like an iPod but you can make calls on it and apparently it’s all the rage. I decided I should probably buy one and I’m feeling awesome about my decision. I’ve been raving about it to all my friends, who stare at me in the same pitiful way they did in 2010 when I told them about Craigslist, or last month when I told them about Skype. For someone who works in social media and has been in the wireless industry for more than ten years, I’m not what you’d call an early adopter.
Trends don’t slip by me entirely unnoticed – I do read back issues of Vogue at the doctor’s office – but I tend to let them settle in for a few years and see how they fare before jumping on the better-late-than-never bandwagon. I’m still finishing up the Girl with the Dragon Tattoo series and I own just two pair of skinny jeans. Unless it’s a movie (I’m a cinematic over-adopter), if people are talking about it, I tend to avoid it.
I’m not sure how the trendy gene passed me by. My grandma got her first pair of UGGs straight from Australia in the 80s, my dad bought two of those first $1000 VCRs, and my mom had a cutting-edge perm for most of my childhood. I, on the other hand, tiptoed into the colored jeans trend with an inconspicuous shade of blue and still use the word “rad” regularly.
So because rationalizing one’s shortcomings is an important part of personal growth, I feel I must explain why it’s ok that I don’t eat quinoa, I’ve never read the Harry Potter series, and I refuse to acknowledge the existence of 3D TVs.
I’m cheap: While some of the greatest trends of our time weren’t so pricey (pet rocks, Garbage Pail Kids, Google +); some sting quite a bit more when their fifteen minutes of fame is up – as anyone with a laser disc collection, a segway, or stock in Facebook can attest.
I’m lazy: If you wait around long enough… the book becomes a movie, the phone price drops, the TV profile slims, and the peplum goes out of style (please).
I’m impatient: Even if supplies are restricted, seats are limited, or Elmos are ticklish, nothing sounds as miserable as standing in line overnight to be the very first one to do something that I can do tomorrow – or in three years – without waiting.
I’m chicken: What if I can’t pull off statement sunglasses? What if I get the new iPad and then the iPad17 comes out? What if I cut bangs and look like Angelica Huston?
I’m a follower: Being on the forefront of technology, fashion, and entertainment is an amazing talent – for other people. While I’m up to date on the blogs, charts, and best-seller lists, before I read Lean In or wear TOMS, I need proof of concept from someone I know. I learned this lesson the hard way by reading Fifty Shades of Grey.
While in 1990 I had just about the coolest crimped and Rave-spackled locks in all of Sarah Adams Elementary, it’s been quite a long time since I was on the cutting edge of anything. I like to think my approach has saved me time, money and agony, but I’m not gonna lie – I really wish I figured out this iPhone thing earlier.
Are you an early adopter or not? What trends are you glad you avoided? Any you wish you got to sooner?