Technology continues its relentless march forward, which means that every year we are granted new and improved versions of our old devices. It can be difficult to understand the need to drop everything in favor of the newest tech, especially when so many of us are still using the laptops we bought for our first year of college. However, what we don’t realize is how our old tools are seriously slowing us down.

While you may be able to get by with your old tools, your performance is likely lacking. Whether it takes you longer to accomplish basic tasks or you’re wasting valuable resources with outdated technology, resisting the upgrades is keeping you in the past. If you want to move out of the cave and rejoin society in a shiny new smart house, here are the four pieces of tech you must upgrade immediately.

Toothbrushes

You brush your teeth at least twice a day every day — or you should — so why are you relying on a tool designed more than 80 years ago? To clean your mouth effectively, you must powerfully brush for a total of two minutes. While the modern toothbrush does some damage to plaque and debris, if you are continuing to rely on your own arm strength and attention span to keep your teeth shining and gums healthy, you probably aren’t doing a perfect job every time.

Conversely, electric toothbrushes are designed to reach difficult areas of the mouth, have motorized heads that don’t lose power while you’re multitasking, and can have timer features that turn off the toothbrush when you’ve finished your cleaning. Sticking with a manual toothbrush is asking for dentures in your later life, which is a major expense — not to mention inconvenience.

Household Appliances

You’re lying to yourself if you think you’re getting by with an older model of your clothes washer, dryer, or dishwasher. Most people use all three of these at least once every week, and older versions of these appliances don’t have the newest technology to truly make your items clean, and they are more likely to break down or malfunction, necessitating costly calls to the repairman. On top of all this, older appliances are not designed with energy efficiency in mind, so they are likely draining your wallet through your electricity bill as well.

New appliances can be a big investment, but they pay off both in their functionality and the value they add to your home. Energy Star appliances are reviewed and approved by the government for their decreased energy usage and impact on pollution, so you can trust you’re upgrading to an amazing product.

Cigarettes

You’ve known since you were a child that cigarettes in general are a waste of money — they smell, they stain, and they damage nearly every aspect of your health, among other detriments. However, no matter how many times you try to quit, you just can’t get away from them.

Unfortunately, your bad habit is costing you a fortune; depending on your location, your lung capacity, and your pack of choice, you could be dropping more than $5,000 a year.

You don’t have to stop smoking to save that money. Instead, consider smoking tobacco-less e-cigarettes. There are tons of customizations and modifications — not to mention flavors — you can choose from to get the perfect experience. Plus, not only is the investment in e-cigs lower, but your health risks are likely diminished as well.

Video Game Consoles

Even if you are one of the countless casual gamers, it’s hard to stay with one gaming console for very long. Video game developers love upgrading devices so they can roll out games with the best possible graphics and audio. Oftentimes, downloadable upgrades to consoles aren’t enough, and to progress, companies must create entirely new devices. When this happens, the old machines become obsolete because companies stop producing updates and games for old systems.

Serious gamers know that when new consoles are announced, they should stop buying games and gear for their old device. To increase your skill at video games, stay on top of trends and own the newest devices possible. If you don’t, you’ll be stuck with the same games you’ve always played while everyone else gets newer and better digital adventures.

Cell Phones

With all the indispensible features available on smartphones today, upgrading this piece of tech really should be a no-brainer. However, legions of people continue to carry around outdated flip phones with the intention of communicating with others in the ways of the 1890s. Whether it’s good or bad, the way we interact with one another is changing, and for the most part we require the features of modern cell phones, like texting, picture messaging, and video messaging, to communicate.

Older phones lack most or all of these capabilities, so their users are often left without anyone to talk to. If you don’t want to be left alone in the dust, you should be paying the extra monthly fee to gain the ability to connect with your friends and family in the modern fashion.

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