We all have gadgets that we’ve bought thinking we could do so many things with it, and then we end up only using a small portion of the device’s potential, concentrating on just using the same aspects of it time and time again.  Huge swaths of our gadget’s potential goes unrealized by its owners, or some gadgets never even get used because they feel overwhelming or too complicated.  Is this really a problem?  Well, when you add up how much the items cost, it might send you in to shock how much money we’re wasting.

hdtvAccording to a recent survey conducted by Sky HD in England of 3,000 people, it was found that the average amount of money spent per person on gadgets each year was £3,065 (approx $4,625 USD), but depending on what part of the country they live in determined how effectively they used those gadgets.  While people in Glasgow were found to use around 42%of the functions available on their gadgets, while people in Wolverhampton averaged using 80% of their gadgets’ abilities.

Not using certain aspects of gadgets and electronics is not an uncommon occurrence, but what was scary was some of the things people didn’t know before making purchases.  Of the people surveyed, 47% were not aware that a high definition television needed a high definition source needed to be attached to it to get the benefits of the television set , thinking that it would improve anything connected to it.  Even more frightening was that 2% of the people polled thought you had to be born with HD Ready eyesight to even get the benefits of the television.

All told the survey took the number of features on gadgets and did some wacky math and came up with a number saying people wasted £52 billion (approximately $78.5 billion USD), which, while is an attractive headline grabbing number, it is complete mumbo jumbo.  So long as people are enjoying their devices for whatever parts they do use, then they really aren’t wasting any money at all.

What I think this survey does teach us is that technology is still not explained to the masses correctly.  While it’s nice to have things written out in ways that those of us who are knee-deep in tech can understand it, perhaps there should be a plain English version written for everybody else?  Why isn’t there a guide in every electronics store explaining what the differences are between LCD and Plasma screens?  What are the pros and cons of each?  What benefits will this bring to my every day life?  Sure the vast majority of people won’t read them, and people could find all of this information online, why not give them a last minute option to find out more information?

Many times in my life I have gone into people’s homes and seen computers collecting dusts, long forgotten gadgets sitting in drawers and so on.  Sure it makes me sad for the money these people wasted, but obviously there has to be better ways to educate people about the benefits of each device before they plunk down their money.

What say you?  How would you go about educating people to stem some of this money lost on unused gadgets?