Sidegrade (Word For The Week)
A sidegrade is defined as an “upgrade” that isn’t an upgrade. Instead, it is a switch from one choice to another, that is comparatively different, but not objectively better.
It could be switching brands, locations, or simply the name or color of a problem.
Most times, when we decide to change something, it is usually because we expect the new choice to be an upgrade on the old.
There is no point in making a switch if both options will end up being the same in terms of quality, function, and advantage.
The problem though is that most of us do not research extensively before making our choice.
You get to the market, distribution center, or polling station, and there you start thinking about making a change. Because there is now little time left to think, you pick whatever option comes to you.
Other times, a sidegrade is advertised to you as an upgrade. A marketer, influencer, or brand ambassador is paid to say whatever it takes to sell a product.
Because you like the person speaking, you end up believing them without making secondary research. They get paid, you get duped.
It is even more hurtful when the sidegrade costs significantly more than what it is replacing. Brighter colors, packaging, influencers, they are all being paid for by the mark-up in price.
People who are desperate to show that they are wealthy or classy are often the ones who make sidegrades. People who want to keep up with the Joneses, the Johnsons, and the Jensimis.
From deciding on the next school you or your child will attend to switching churches, hospitals, residences, or politicians to govern you, extreme care has to be taken in researching.
You don’t want to be hoodwinked into making an expensive sidegrade in the name of making an upgrade.
More distraughting, disturbing, and disheartening than an expensive sidegrade is a more expensive downgrade.
People who cheated on and divorced their partners to end up with a worse partner don’t need anyone explaining this point to them.
Those who preached that Muhammad Buhari is a reformed democrat who will tackle insecurity, while Yemi Osinbajo would fix the economy, if they are being sincere, know how much of not just an expensive, but a bank-breaking downgrade they turned out to be.
With hindsight, Nigerians would have been grateful for a sidegrade on Jonathan. By 2024, they would curse the president if he turns out as a sidegrade on Buhari.
Meanwhile, those who got paid to promulgate this propaganda are either in government, too rich to care, out of the country and away from this mess, complaining louder than everyone else, or dying in silence because of pride.
When politicians start emerging from whatever shells they’ve hidden in since 2015 or 2019, do your research.
If you are due an upgrade but keep going for a sidegrade, whatever damage you are trying to fix would only get worse in time. And there is very limited time until the damage is irreversible.