The world is once again gearing up for another technology turn over, with the iPhone 7. But didn’t the iPhone 6s come out just over a year ago?

Technology is changing too rapidly. I mean, by the time I had purchased the latest Samsung phone, a new version was released not even a week later and with another model not far behind.

We see these rapid upgrades with handheld devices, larger desktop versions and now tablets. You can now have a tablet that is both desktop and portable. In the millennial generation we have seen the rise and fall of the flip phone, the beginning of Apple and Android, and the wide procurement of personal computers. I didn’t even get my first classified ‘smart phone’ until my sophomore year of high school and I already was late with regard to my generation. But with constant updates, the question is raised: is it worth it for college students to stay up to date with the newest technology?

College is already pricey. Considering tuition alone, I often wonder how my colleagues manage to purchase a laptop to fill the requirements of their classes. That is part of the problem though: while technology is changing majorly when it comes to better processing, one item cannot simply fill all the responsibilities needed for college. College students often come to school pre-equipped with a smartphone, tablet and a Mac or PC computer. Our phones aren’t big enough to write papers, our computers are too big to reply to messages, and our tablets are only the perfect size to see Instagram. In some cases, a PC can’t fill all the requirements a Mac possess or vice-versa.

When is it ever enough? Can a college student make it through the next four years with being constantly tethered to various bits of new technology?

From a personal standpoint, I made it through my first two years with a basic standard Windows laptop. Eventually I cracked and got the most up-to-date version of that PC. The price wasn’t that of a walk in the park, either. Depending on your major, the field you plan to work in often decides whether you can make it by with the standard model computer, laptop or tablet. Your funds also have a major impact on whether you can keep up with the supply and demand of technology. The system operates to circular effect: once you think you’ve bought the latest and greatest, the world introduces another, better, sleeker model or design.

When it comes down to specifics, you can make it through college with the standard model, but you run the risk of missing opportunities or access due to a lack of processing or gadgets.

If you’re like me and see that keeping up with the demands of technology is sometimes just too large a financial investment, I would advise you to shop smart. Make sure the devices you want will last longer than a year. Technology isn’t slowing down anytime soon. It’s too bad you might have to.

letters@chronicle.utah.edu

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