During my downtime last week, I had the chance to read the newspaper every morning. I generally hear about news online, but my parents subscribe to a daily paper, and I actually enjoy old fashioned newsprint when I have the opportunity. One thing I don’t enjoy are all the ads, but I did get a kick out of one flyer advertising new refrigerators with wifi capability! This brought on a whole new series of questions, mainly what does one do and who really needs a wifi refrigerator?
What You Get With Your Internet Refrigerator
Again, I had a little too much time last week, but I did find out that with a wifi fridge, you get a touch screen in the door. With it you have the capability of checking the weather, the news, looking for recipes, basically anything you can do online. You can leave notes to yourself or other family members, and most impressively, you can update your social media. I know my morning is not complete until I’ve Tweeted about having waffles or oatmeal for breakfast!
While all of this is cool, is there really anyone out there who would stand in front of the fridge to take care of online activities? Wouldn’t it hold up productivity if I’m trying to make a meal and someone is standing in front of the fridge? Will I ever get anything done if I keep checking my Facebook status updates?
The even better question is how much extra does all this fabulousness cost? I guess it depends on the brand, but it looks like touchscreen fridges are at least $500 more than their non-smart counterparts. This is on top of the higher end models as well. They aren’t putting wifi into basic old school refrigerators.
How Much Technology is Too Much?
It’s not just refrigerators. My Mom’s new Cadillac is all touch screen. Again, it is very cool, but one thing I notice about touch screens are how fast they tear up. You might get two good years before something goes wrong and has to be replaced. While it doesn’t cost a ton to replace a volume knob, I bet replacing a touch one is pretty pricey. I guess that’s what companies are counting on.
Should We Go Back To The Dark Ages?
Don’t get me wrong, I love technology. I don’t think I could go without a smart phone or some of the things we are able to do remotely. Jim and I are old, so I understand if you can’t remember the days of having to call airlines or hotels to book travel or if you have never had to use the actual Yellow Pages. Being able to pay bills, transfer money, or even make money with the touch of a few buttons or swipes is amazing, but I think we should also remember why we have technology. Is is to be cool or to improve our lives?
How Much Technology Do I Need?
I think with any purchase, technical or not, you always need to remember three rules that I’ve shared multiple times.
- Is this something I need or adds value to my life?
- Do I need it right now?
- Is this the best possible price?
If a smart refrigerator answers yes to all those, questions, then you should go ahead and buy one. My guess is that anyone looking for a wifi fridge probably already has a smart phone, a tablet, and multiple computers. I doubt people are looking to simplify by doing their online work on the fridge. In that case, then no one really needs a wifi refrigerator. It’s another novelty that takes our money and gives us a few seconds of amusement.
For myself, I’ll stick to handwritten notes and magnets, and I’ll use my laptop or phone for status updates and recipes. Now if they ever come up with a wifi toilet, I’m going back to the analog age!
What is the weirdest use of technology you’ve seen? Would you pay an extra $500 to be able to Tweet from the fridge?
(Somehow my dog, Mo, has conspired today with Frugal Hound and they both agree that smart refrigerators
would be ones that dispense food out to canines, not ones with a touch screen. You can read more about what they’re up to at Frugal Woods.)