For the most part, I don't really keep up with what's popular. For example, I still haven't watched Hunger Games or any of the Twilight movies (except for the first one). I don't plan to be first in line to watch the movie Magic Mike when it comes out (though I definitely wouldn't mind watching Channing Tatum or Alex Pettyfer dance around with their shirts off. Perhaps they could release a DVD with just the dance scenes and no dialogue? Or is that sexist of me to say that? But seriously, does anyone even CARE what that movie's about?)
I also don't really care about most electronic gadgets (except for my iPod, because I need to be able to listen to Britney and Katy on a regular basis. Stop rolling your eyes.). I don't have an iPad or a Kindle. I've heard stories of people who camp out in line for hours (or even days) before the new iPhone goes on sale. I would only camp out in line if my favorite clothing store was giving out free outfits, or if Conan O'Brien was giving out free tickets to his show (I wasn't able to get tickets to any of his Chicago shows, darn it! The HUMANITY of it all!), or if George Clooney was giving out free kisses.
Last year I finally replaced my old cell phone (which didn't even take pictures or get e-mail) for the first time in five years, and that was only because I got a free BlackBerry upgrade by signing a new contract. I still haven't completely figured out how to use all the features on it, though, which is why Smartphones make me feel stupid.)
Last week I got caught in the rain on my way to a doctor's appointment. It was pouring, so I put my cell phone in my bookbag and carried an umbrella. That was not enough to protect it from the rain, apparently, because my cell phone was damaged and wouldn't even turn on.
I happened to be within walking distance of a store owned by my phone company, so I went there to see if the phone could be fixed. They said that it was beyond repair. They also said that I would have to pay full price for a new phone (several hundred dollars), since my one-year warranty expired and I wasn't eligible for a free upgrade yet. And of course, by that point, the rain had already stopped. If my doctor's appointment had been just an hour later, I wouldn't have gotten caught in the rain, and I would have saved a lot of money as well as my cell phone.
This was my reaction:
Okay, so maybe I'm being a little melodramatic. After all, I am a member of the last generation that didn't grow up using cell phones or the Internet, so I can still remember what life was like before the Digital Age. We all managed to survive just fine.
I almost bought a new iPhone for more than two hundred dollars (the sales rep said he could give me one of the older versions for a cheaper price). I started to see why everyone goes crazy for these phones, because you really can do a lot of things with them.
But I couldn't bring myself to buy it. I am a broke grad student after all, and I can't afford to spend hundreds of dollars on a new phone. I called my phone company and they were nice enough to make an exception for me and replace my Blackberry with a new one for fifty bucks. I couldn't help wishing that I'd been able to buy that fancier iPhone, though. I also couldn't help feeling envious of the people who can afford to buy the fancy iPhones. Even fifty bucks is a lot of money for me, and it's times like these where I feel frustrated for being a broke thirtysomething when people in their twenties are already earning thousands of dollars more.
I can't help wondering if those people who camp out in line for stuff like the newest version of the iPhone or the iPad are doing it because they really want all the fancy features that those gadgets offer, or if it's about status. I could say that I look down on all those people, but one of the reasons I finally upgraded my basic cell phone to a Smartphone was because I wanted to catch up with everyone else. (I suppose I could go off on some riff about consumerism or capitalism, but I have to write about that kind of stuff all
the time for school. I'd rather take a break from it in my
We like to think that those things don't matter, and to a certain
extent, they don't. But there's always at least one thing that we're
willing to splurge on. I must admit that I write in a coffeehouse at
least once a week, even though I could write at home for free.
What about you? Do you keep up with all the digital trends? What (or who) would you camp out in line for? What would you be willing to splurge on?
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