Hard to be Permenant in a Disposable World

January 26, 2011

Just yesterday I wrote about my love of gadgets and today, I received my timely comeuppance.

My college-age kids called me to tell me their phones were malfunctioning and needed to be replaced. How is it that both phones have run amuck at exactly same time?

And the wireless Gods were not smiling upon me because the blessed upgrade from our carrier is not until March. But Mom, they pleaded in their most pitiful voices, we (meaning me) could buy two refurbished phones to get them through the long wait (one month) until the upgrade was within their grasp… and only for measly $ 50 a pop. The phone is regularly $ 300 so this is a deal, right? I am being asked to dole out $100 for what will amount to two disposable phones. I ask you, does that seem logical? It seemed perfectly fine to them and they are now questioning my ability to reason let alone my ability to function without assistance.

When a $ 300 phone or anything for that matter is viewed as “temporary” and we count the days until they can be discarded, where do we draw the line on what is considered valuable enough to keep?

Computers: Laptop technology changes so rapidly that they are pretty much rendered obsolete in 3 to 4 years. I am on my third laptop since beginning my real estate business just 7 years ago.

Cameras: Do you remember how long you kept your first camera? I still have my fully manual Pentax K1000 (remember film, gasp), from high school which has still created some of the best shots I have taken to date. How long do you plan to hang onto your current camera? Or, are you already looking at the newer models and wishing you had them or worse, planning your future purchase?

Cars: I for one like to buy a really nice vehicle (usually one or two years old versus new) and will keep it for a very long time before moving on. While others may own 4 or 5 vehicles during the same time I have kept one. No judgement rendered; just observation.

Has advancing technology created an itch than cannot be scratched, a hunger than cannot be fed, a thirst that cannot be quenched?

 Are we doomed to enjoy temporary satisfaction only to be left wanting more?

What say you?