Why We Don’t Upgrade

For the last year, every time I log on to Internet Explorer from my home computer a little window pops up saying “Upgrade to Internet Explorer 8?” to which I ALWAYS hit “Ask me later”.

It’s not like I don’t want IE 8, but I just don’t feel like going through the 30 second process. It kind of reminds me when you go to a website that invites you to take the survey. Seriously, who has time for that? It feels like so much work!

I try to hide the fact that I almost never upgrade, but sometimes I get caught. Like last week for example. When texting my colleague Ryan he asked why I had yet to upgrade to iOS5 on my iPhone? I was confused. How did he know? Unknowing to me, the fact that my texts weren’t blue was a clear indicator that I had yet to upgrade. Busted!

I know I am not the only one out there who is like this. Here are my top 5 guesses as to why people don’t upgrade their software: 

  1. Too lazy. Yes, I know. It’s a bad excuse! But sometimes it feels like too much hassle. Can’t someone upgrade for me and let me know when it is complete?
  2. The current version works just fine. I can totally relate to this. Seriously, if everything is working, then why would I want to change that?
  3. Change is scary. Blue texts? I’m not sure I am ready for that. Yes, upgrades can sometimes involve a change of interface of sorts. Some of us don’t like change. When Twitter changed a while back I held onto the old version for as long as I could because the new one scared me. I’m doing the same thing with Google Analytics.
  4. I didn’t know there was a newer version. Sadly, I might never have known a thing called “iOS5” existed if it wasn’t for Ryan telling me. Okay, maybe that is an exaggeration, but you get the point. You need to know about an upgrade before taking the next step.
  5. The updates are released too frequently. If I go through the trouble of upgrading, I don’t want to do it again in six weeks! Firefox in particular is guilty of this.

One final thing…. missing out on “blue” text messages are one thing, but never avoid necessary upgrades for software like anti-virus! I’m sure you can imagine the consequences I suffered thanks to that one.

Kelly Batke

Kelly is the self-confessed technology laggard who works in technology. The good news is she is slowly reaching late adopter status. Kelly enjoys learning and writing about the psychology behind technology—as in why do we buy what we buy, and how does that impact our environment?