08 June 2012


Turn to the person sitting next to you and ask them something: Do they or have they ever owned an Apple product? Bet you $5 their answer is yes unless your neighbor is a devout Amish person who refuses to believe in electricity, of course. This is the 21st century and we are dominated by pop culture and the latest toys now more than ever. With every purchase one makes, there is at least a passing thought of how that purchase will help them keep up with the Joneses. My question is Why?
I've always believed that the 21st century is the one of no trends. Could I ever be more wrong? Turns out that societal culture isn't complete without them. Tell me, why did you buy new iPad 3? Is it really a necessity in your life? What does it offer that compelled you to purchase it? You can apply that question to anything you've ever owned, but the most valuable part of that question is your answer. Personally, I don't own an iPad. In fact, I don't currently own any Apple product, but that's not because I don't want to. However aside from that, every time I consider saving up money or asking my parents for one, I find myself evaluating the prospects of the overly glorified device. Am I really willing to shell over $700 for a device that will just make me seemingly less bored? No. What does it really do for you that makes it such a prized item?

I know for a fact that if I posed these questions to my friends I'd receive an answer regarding the games they play to resolve their boredom or perhaps that it's lighter to carry around than a 5-pound laptop. Bullshit.
Bored? Read a book, become enlightened by the worlds you find in literature as people have done for centuries before our time. Perhaps you'll learn something fascinating or even discover your favorite style of literature.
Is your laptop too heavy to carry around? Suck it up and get a padded backpack. Are you really going to replace one device with a lighter one just to save yourself from slightly strained shoulders?

I know I'm being insanely critical, and don't you dare call me jealous as result. If anything, I just wish society wasn't so captivated by new technologies. I love handwriting letters on fun stationary, but who will write me back with equal effort? I love playing games with my friends that don't involve electronic devices that produce versions of games originally played IRL. Take the popular game Draw Something for example. It's an electronic version of Pictionary, only Pictionary is more fun. Then there's Words with Friends, Zynga's online version of Scrabble in which a single game could last a month. And Scramble with Friends? Boggle. Does this make me a reactionary for wanting to enjoy time with my friends in one room? These days a simple get together is even glorified into a party because, well, why else would you go to your friends house, right?

It is here that I thank my mother for instilling the value of quality time in my childhood. Thanks for all those times you forced me to play Scrabble even though I'd always lose.

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