Two prior posts made two related points: maintenance grows because we own too many things, and time shrinks because we have so many things to maintain. Everything needs maintenance. Not just the things we own, but all the things we use—even the air and the water.
The only serious distinction are things requiring your personal maintenance and things that don’t. Personal includes your body, your car, your house, and your computer—especially its software. (I’ll bet you have ten times more software updates a year than medical appointments.)
As with your body, you can neglect things only so much and still expect them to function. We possess increasing numbers of things—of devices, of gadgets, of apps—yet somehow we must find the time to maintain them all.
The few who can afford it will simply replace what they don’t maintain with a new device. Sort of like buying a new car because the old one is out of gas. Not a strategy for the rest of us.
Until this century, most people had no idea how steep the price would be for the maintenance of abundance, And especially how much of it they personally would have to pay. While the dollar cost is not peanuts, the really important cost is our time.
How much time we have varies, but for everyone it is a limited resource. As Will Rogers said about land: “They ain’t making any more of the stuff.” Yet year by year, you and I spend more and more of our time to pay the maintenance cost of abundance. As Thoreau said, “The price of anything is the amount of life you pay for it.”
One more Thoreau quote: “A man is rich in proportion to the number of things he can afford to let alone.” Welcome to the new digital poverty.