Novelty

There are thousands and thousands of applications, or apps, on the Apple App Store for iPhone and iPad. Many are free or very low-cost. Some cost tens or even hundreds of dollars.

I have purchased or downloaded three hundred ninety-seven apps from Apple in the last eight years. Probably more than that, but that’s what I still see on the store when I check it out today.

Of those almost four hundred apps, I currently have eighty installed on my iPhone 6.

Of those eighty, eighteen are on my home screen, which to me means that I use those eighteen apps multiple times every single day.

Now I wager that some of you have many more apps than I do, and most of you likely have less.

One thing I have noticed about myself and  my use of the iPhone, which I dearly love, since 2007 is that I am never quite satisfied with what I have.

The basic apps provided by Apple, for the most part, do a very good job at helping me keep track of my appointments, my to do lists, the weather and my social networks. Even so, I am always searching for something just a little bit better, a little more cutting edge, a little flashier or more colorful or with more animation. I’m not entirely sure why this is so, but I know that I have repeated the cycle of download-use-enjoy-tire of-delete-download-try something new more often than I can remember over the last eight years.

What is it about novelty, newness and difference that attracts us? What is it that makes us always think that what we have is not good enough, fast enough, slick enough or sufficient enough to get the job done, and well?

I know that when I have tried the latest podcast app or calendar or writing tool that most of the time I return to the apps that have served me well over many years, electing to use what I know works and is reliable over what might give me a few more thrills the first few days after I install it.

Sometimes, the tried and true is better for us, and serves us better, than the flashy, the novel and the new.

The safe, comfortable, in-control feeling I get from using tools that work and that I know won’t let me down more often than not offsets the transient thrills of promises made and glittering bells and whistles that I don’t really need anyway.

Sometimes, we think we can’t get satisfaction until we go to the ends of the earth, or the app store, to find the best.

In fact, what is best for us, and will serve us best in the long run, has been right in front of us all along.

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