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Attention, all you proud, new iPhone 4S owners, let me just say congrats on your new purchase.  Siri sounds like a great new feature, and I'm glad you have that, as well as bragging rights on just about any tech product out there.

I'll also say this: Enjoy it will it lasts.

Because it won't.

I know you don't want to hear it, but it's true.  Look around at your old iPhone.  Look at the flat screen TV over in the other room.  The iPad.  The laptop.  The desktop.

They were all your new ‘Ohmygod-lookatmenow' gadget at one time or another.  They're not anymore.  And one day, neither will your iPhone be!

I think there are five emotional stages that we all go through when it comes to the cool techie electronic things.

Right now, all you iPhone 4S users are in the midst of stage 1.  But check this page back in six months or a year and let me know where you are.

1. The ‘Love Boat' phase

What this means: “Exciting and new” is the only way to describe this.  You're going to pull that iPhone out of your pocket for any reason possible.  If someone so much as looks at it, you will be in their face showing off the cool features.

If it breaks: If you're in stage 1, and your item breaks, you would consider throwing yourself from a bridge in depression.

2. It's pretty cool!

What this means: You still love your iPhone, but you've now noticed that so many people have one that you no longer show it off as much.  You still love it but are now comfortable enough with it and have had it long enough that the ‘wow' factor of all the new features no longer thrills you.

If it breaks:If you're in stage 2 and your item breaks, you will get it replaced as quickly as possible, but you'll no longer kill or maim anybody that stands in your way of getting it replaced.

3. It's cool.  Really, it is.

What this means:: For most people, this is the longest phase that we spend any amount of time in.  We really like our gadget, but it's not new anymore.  We try to hide the scratch or scrapes that have suddenly appeared.  By now, there are grumblings when we have to re-start it occasionally, and we will swear at it regularly when it does something stupid.  If someone asks us how we like it, we'll tell them how much we do, but our voice might raise an octave involuntarily as we try to make ourselves believe we still ‘love' it.

If it breaks: You'll get it replaced.  Chances are you'd be great with the same model of what you have.  But, you will take a look ‘just to make sure' that there isn't something else you like better.

4. Peeking around the corner

What this means: When the iPhone 5 comes out, millions of people will instantly catapult into this phase.  They'll still be OK with using the 4S, but at this point, they're itching for an excuse to upgrade.  End of contract? OK, time to move on.

If it breaks: You're most likely getting something newer, better, and faster.  If your only option is to get it replaced with the same model, you will be disappointed.

5. Not. Another. Single. Minute.

What this means: You can't stand to spend another minute with this item and will pay any amount of money to get away from it.  Today.

If it breaks: You'll be scraping the pieces off your shoe as most items that reach this phase will not die simply because they remain functional only to torture you.  At this point, you will refuse to believe, even if presented with video evidence, that you were ever in the ‘Love Boat' phase about it.

Personally, I can tolerate a lot of time in the 4th phase.  I'll use items that no longer give me any charge and that I know are way out of date compared to what's available, but it will often take a catastrophic failure before I love to the final, replace-it-now phase.

Consider that I have:

  • A fourteen year old TV that serves as the primary television for family viewing
  • A 6-7 year old desktop computer that I still use regularly
  • A Blackberry
  • I  even avoided getting a new laptop at work for months even though I was way eligible for a new phone

So, it's obvious that I can live with obsolete technology for longer than most.

How quickly do you move through the five emotional stages of technology?