Frustration Friday: Enough Change, Thank you!

Apple's iPad comes out and changes everything.

HP comes out of the blue and buys Palm.

The people at SquareEnix predict the death of the console.

I'm typing this Frustration Friday on a Netbook so small yet powerful it would seem like a joke a few years ago.

Facebook's security and privacy settings change hourly (it seems).

Am I the only one feeling that the rate of technology change is not just fast, but getting to the point of being almost gratuitous?

Look I love new technology as much as the next person – in fact, I'd lay odds more than the next person.  I love new stuff, new gizmos, new tools.  I love being able to do and make things happen faster, cooler, and better.

I also am getting a little tired of keeping up with everything, and I sometimes wonder if the change out there has much of a purpose anymore.

It's like everyone is trying to change faster than everyone else, everyone's trying to make their company like the latest hot company, and when in doubt, do something different.  In fact when you're not in doubt, do something different.

By now I, a dedicated technophile and geek, am reaching the point of no longer being enchanted by change and the new stuff, but having moments of indifference or even dread.  Is THIS new technology going to mess up my publishing efforts?  Will this security patch kill my software?  Will I have to learn yet another social media doodad to keep up with people?

If I felt this was all meaningful, yeah, I wouldn't mind.  I'd be all for it.  I love new stuff.  I just have the sinking feeling that change is becoming terribly . . . unoriginal.  Gratuitious.  It's the Michael Bay Explosions of technology – pretty and noisy and cool, but eh, seen it all before and it doesn't do anything.

Worse, theres always someone evangelizing for the Latest New Cool Thing That is Gratuitous.  I'm not talking the iPad – which I think actually is quite good – but it's this new tool or program or plugin or group, or this soon-to be delivered technology.  On top of trying to adapt to whatever is new and figure out if it's relevant, I have to deal with people yammering about how awesome the obviously not-awesome thing is.

I fear at times I'm becoming old and crotchety at 42, but I don't think I'm really alone here. 

This is where the Fan To Pro part comes in.

Because if I'm not old and crotchety, I'm concerned a lot of technology companies are caught in the Gratuitous New Thing Cycle, probably as a way to try and break out of the damage of the recession.  But the New Things in this case would really just be a New Thing bubble, and as we all know, bubbles pop eventually.

So what finally cheeses me off is the concern that a lot of cool companies and cool people are putting time and money into stuff that's not going to last and not going to improve their situation or mine or other people's.  It's just Gratuitous New THings, and that bubble will burst.

I'd rather that not happen, thanks.  I was there during the dot-bomb, I don't want to go through that again.

– Steven Savage