Have we become “consumer zombies”
Every year, we’re told that the technology that we purchased at a very expensive cost is no longer the best and has been replaced by something better, and usually more expensive. And we Americans just go along with the assertions and pay the costs only to find that pretty soon, never technology from he same company has replaced the equipment we thought was what was best
By Ray Hanania
Last week, Apple announced its latest upgrade of the Apple iPhone. A lot of people went crazy with the news, and the media is going berserk. But I have to ask, has our generation gone nuts? Have we lost our sense of value?
Do we not care that we are being manipulated by robber barons in the technology industry who have conditioned us to accept “the ;attest,” the “newest” and the “upgraded” and to throw out perfectly good equipment that we paid a fortune to own only a few years back?
I use the iPhone 8. When it came out, Apple promised it was the greatest cellular, camera and computer system available. It only cost about $1,000 when I bought it.
Why did I buy it? Because it was better than the iPhone 6 that I used to have? Or, is that we have become consumer zombies and we just have to buy the newest things that these companies have released?
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Why do I need the iPhone 11? The iPhone 8 that I have works fine. The camera is good. Do I really need to spend another $1,400 to make it a little bit better? Worse, to purchase something that in two years will be made obsolete again by Apple’s robber barons?
The release of the latest iPhone by Apple is a symptom of a society that has lost all sense of value. We have become an “I want” society. We “want” things that we don’t need any more.
I have 12,000 digital photos on my current iPhone cloud. I can’t even enjoy the pictures I have taken because I have taken so many it is impossible to humanly scan the photos the way we used to flip through even thick photo albums with printed photographs.
I understand if Apple had announced that it had invented something that replaced the mobile telephone. Maybe something that allowed us to merge our needs with easier access to the massive storage of data online that provides answers to everything.
Maybe, they announced that they invented a pair of glasses you where that you talk to and ask questions, like, “When was president John F. Kennedy assassinated and why?” The answers appear to us in the glass screens inf ront of our eyes and we get the answers instantly.
I could use that kind of technology. Sure. Getting answers to questions that I think are important, if not necessary to answer at all.
My wife has the Samsung phone. She doesn’t want to buy the new one. Why should she? We don’t need “slightly better.” So what if the picture is a little better in the iPhone 11 or that the sounds is slightly better, or that the battery that Apple sold us in the iPhone 8 that was corrupted intentionally and crashed, is better in the iPhone 11?
Why do I need all that?
How about inventing technology that lets me take my index fingers and touch them to my Temples allowing me to ask any question I want and the answer just pops up out of nowhere. I’d spend $1,400 on that.
But do we really need to spend more buy to replaced the technology we have simply because it has inched the “quality” of what a cell phone does a few inches further than the last version?
There is something morally corrupt about a society that is willing to throw away a perfectly good cell phone for something that “does it a little better.”
Never mind that we are also dealing with the corruption of the principle of “loyalty.” Loyalty to things that work, things that already give us what we need. Do we need a cell phone that takes even better photos? Has even better sound? Has even better picture quality? Has a better battery?
You know that in two years they are going to come out with the iPhone 15 which they will claim will replace the shortcomings of the iPhone 11 which will be obsolete. Un-cool. No longer serviceable.
Wouldn’t it be great if we told Apple to shove it! Stop selling us junk that they assert is great when they offer it and garbage when they launch the “next generation?”
When is it all going to end?
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Hanania also writes about Middle East issues for the Arab News, and The Arab Daily News criticizing government policies in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
A critic of mainstream news media bias, Hanania advocates for peace & justice for Israel & Palestine, & the empowerment of Arabs in America.
Click here to listen to Ray's Political Podcast.
Hanania's columns are archived on his personal website at RayHanania.com. Hanania was named "Best Ethnic American Columnist" by the New America Media in November 2007, and is the 2009 recipient of the SPJ National Sigma Delta Chi Award for column writing.
Email Ray Hanania at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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