EACH MODE choice you make shows the world who you want to be. So if you’re still wearing Ed Hardy shirts and acid wash jeans, you’re admitting you were last cool about a decade ago, and maybe not quite cool to begin with. The same goes for technology, where the gadgets you use daily tell a story, whether that narrative defines you as an ardent early adopter, a respectably up-to-date gamer, or an out-of-touch Luddite.
“Technology has always been an act of conspicuous consumption. But now it’s about status reporting, even peacocking,” said Matt Klein, cultural researcher and creator of Zine, a newsletter that studies the interplay of technology and psychology. “People want to signal their choices, and technology is changing so fast that it’s easy to make distinctions and figure out who’s behind the curve.”