First Click: How has your usage of technology changed in 2015?

December 2nd, 2015


It’s December which for many is a time of reflection. The arrival of the twelfth month in the Gregorian calendar is always a sign of something old about to be renewed. We, as writers and readers of The Verge, are people that live in the near-future, humans at the forefront of technology adoption and cultural change. So, what better time to take stock of our tech portfolios than now to see how usage is evolving?

I’ll go first.

Things that changed:

  • I started the year with Spotify and ended with Apple Music.
  • I stopped wearing fitness trackers (because they no longer motivate me).
  • I stopped wearing my Pebble smartwatch (because I need fewer distractions).
  • I’ve learned how to put away my smartphone (because I need fewer distractions).
  • I now use WhatsApp regularly (because my kids and friends all use it).
  • I started using Snapchat (because my kids use it).
  • I started the year with subscriptions to Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, and cable TV and ended it with Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, and Hulu (I cut the cord and haven’t regretted it for a minute).
  • I started the year with 200Mbps/20Mbps internet and ended the year with 500Mbps/40Mbps down (although I don’t really notice any difference).
  • I started the year with a MacBook Air and ended it with a MacBook (proving I’m capable of living with a single USB-C jack).
  • I started the year with three HDMI devices serving content to my TV (Apple TV, a cable set top box, and a WD TV HD Live media streamer) and ended the year with just a new Apple TV (and started gaming again as a result).
  • I started the year wearing Sennheiser earbuds at the gym and ended it wearing Powerbeats 2 in-and-over-the-ear headphones (still too bulky, but I love being wireless and having the ability to pair them with the Apple TV so my son can study next to me undisturbed).
  • I started the year with 802.11n Wi-Fi using a Linksys E4200 router and ended the year with 802.11ac served up by a Linksys EA8500 ( ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ ).
  • I started the year with Z-Wave wireless lighting products in my home and have now integrated Hue light strips, dimmers, and bulbs (Hue is easier, but wireless in-wall switches still beat wireless bulbs for functionality).

Things that remain the same:

  • I’m still a devout Sonos user and can’t recommend it highly enough for any music-loving family that can afford it.
  • I'm still waiting for truly wireless earbuds.
  • I still use an original iPad every day but only as a second monitor for my MacBook thanks to Duet.
  • I still check Facebook regularly though i’m not clear why.
  • Instagram is still my favorite social media platform.
  • I still check Twitter regularly, but less so because most of the people I follow seem to be miserable.
  • Fargo and The Leftovers are still my favorite shows on TV.
  • My living room television is still a pathetic 32-inches because TVs are ugly and I deserve to be punished for watching television instead of making myself a better human being.
  • I’m still using a GoPro Hero3 because 4k is overrated and overpriced.
  • I’m still thinking about buying a mirrorless camera to replace the DSLR I never use.
  • I’m still using a Vera Z-Wave hub as my primary smart home controller because Nest and HomeKit ecosystems still can’t compare.
  • I’m still using an iPhone 6 Plus as my daily driver because I can’t justify the expense of updating every year.
  • I still use mostly Google services though I'm tempted more and more by what Microsoft is doing.
  • I didn’t buy an Apple Watch but I tried a Samsung Galaxy Gear Live paired with my iPhone (the experience was terrible and the battery only lasted about 4 to 5 hours each charge).
  • I still use a 10-year old Apple 30-inch Cinema Display everyday.

Your turn, go.

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