The iPhone4S, Consumerism And Humanity

Yesterday, Apple released a slightly upgraded version of the iPhone 4 and the verdict has been near universal. WHERE IS THE IPHONE5?!!!

It is not that people are complaining that there is anything wrong with the iPhone 4; in fact the iPhone 3G can basically do the same thing (basic functionality like call, play Angry Birds and take pictures of getting drunk) . People are angry they have not been given a new thing to buy.

I am wondering how we got to this point where consuming has become essential to life.

Here in Nigeria, the lengths people go to get a new Blackberry borders on disgusting. People spend 6 times the minimum monthly wage of the country just to get a new BlackBerry. Reason? Because ‘they said’ it is the latest one.

Although I am really appalled about this type of behavior, I am far from immune.

Over a year ago, I had a fairly decent computer, because I realized it was about time I bought a new one, I convinced myself that it was too old so i could but another one. As karma would have it, the computer packed up in less than 3 months. I jumped back to my old computer which has been serving me well one year on. it is obvious I never needed the new one in the first place.

MORE! MORE!! MORE!!!

*NEW! NEW!! NEW!!!

So why are we humans like this?

*Not necessarily new, let them just say it is new.

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11 thoughts on “The iPhone4S, Consumerism And Humanity

  1. There are those who justifiably need to use new hardware or whatever new features a new OS or device offers. However, a bulk of  users just want to “feel among”. It’s crowd mentality…just so they don’t feel old school or left out. I know people who have bought iPads but don’t even know how to add songs or pictures to it from their iTunes application software. They keep bothering me each time they find a new app they  need to add.

    I have a Compaq nx6110 I still use. I’ve only had to upgrade the RAM but so far, so good, it works just fine for me and helps me do my job. I’ve declined getting a new laptop for now because the OS does not really make any difference for me and the processing capability of my current laptop is still relevant.

    The companies must chop sha and there will always be people out there who are willing to upgrade their devices as soon as they have a chance.

    1. Yosh,

      What you said about people needing new hard features might ring true for a few. But how about people DEMANDING for a phone they have absolutely no idea what the features will be?

      For every expensive gadget or car bought, there is an investment not made, a house not built.

      People were looting in UK so they would get bigger TV screens and ‘latest’ trainers. Imagine!

      Technology is now going the way of popular TV. Capitalism first even if it means turning the masses poor, lazy and dumb.
      On Oct 5, 2011 11:00 AM, “Disqus”

    2. Reasonableness has been thrown out. The trouble with standing against such consumerism is you’ll be labeled without a care whether or not the label is true: “Oh, you’re just hating cos you can’t afford it!” and “you’re not changing with the times”.

      On some matters, I prefer to be in the minority.

  2. Funny enough, I was discussing this with a friend of mine last night . I am being very careful not to fall within this consumerism trap, especially as I recently moved to Europe, with access to tons of credit facilities, its more than hard.

    Reflecting further, and with the help of my friend, I think I figured we are constantly in need of new experiences for excitement. It is the cravings of the mind. Also, as an aspiring designer and innovator, I am always on the lookout for the ‘sauce in change’

    The solution is to get as much quality for as less price as possible. Fill the hunger in your soul…

    In Nigeria (and in many other places), the situation is quite different. People augur materials stuff for social status, this is a different problem entirely, not consumerism.

    1. Dami,

      You have made a good point in differentiating between the quest for new things among the haves and “have not”. The haves want new experience while the have-not want to be seen as the haves. One is internal satisfaction one is external.

      Both of them though are a cultivated mindset. I am striving satisfy and renew experinces in non expensive ways.

      Credit cards, consumerisim and Amazon one-click is a disastrous combo! On Oct 5, 2011 11:58 AM, “Disqus”

  3. Have a read of “What’s Mine Is Yours: How Collaborative Consumption is Changing the Way We Live” for an upbeat alternative, and a run down of the ugliness and understandability of consumerism. That and change your life with a Stoic approach. See, “A Guide to the Good Life”.

    1. Hey Marc,

      I saw a blogpost with the title “How Collaborative Consumption is Changing the Way We Live” when googling consumerism.

      Ironically, if my Kindle was not broken, I would have ordered the book this moment. #ConsumerismInPractice

      I will check out the book once I sort out my Kindle.
      On Oct 5, 2011 1:50 PM, “Disqus”

  4. We all would like to be thought of as early adopters. Mobile phones have given the majority of people the ability to fall into this group with little or no effort. In addition consumerism is what we have all been driven to. What used to be a luxury is now a necessity. If we did not do this. Product lifecycles have shrunk since companies worked out that the more they shift the more money they will make. 

    It’s human nature, at least until the mayans get their way and during 2012 we all shift our values to non-consumerism behaviour.

    Iqbal

    1. “It’s human nature, at least until the mayans get their way and during 2012 we all shift our values to non-consumerism behaviour.”

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