Okay, I guess this might be at the heart of much of the E-Anything question: c’mon on, do you REALLY need it?
The arguable statement could be made, that, hey, the decision’s already been made—but has it?
Look at Borders.
As Humans we all exhibit moments of rather interesting behavior. Eh, it’s what we do…who we are. New stuff helps keep life interesting. Distracts us from the everyday minutiae of our ofttimes droll existences. Sure, some of it can actually improve life, but with all this “improvement” also comes a loss of relaxation, hard-won moolah (especially in these challenging economic times), and something else to have to worry about, carry, and sell our souls to. And the continual spending in our current economic climate, this really baffles me—how people will continue to spend and spend, buying all these new toys when they’re losing jobs. Another argument can be made that people have to pump their hard-earned money back into the economy to have it survive…but where does that “end,” so to speak?
And there are so many arguments.
Here’s another way to look at all this gadgetry. I’m not a Luddite in any sense of the word, but am always planning for the future—and I’d really rather plan to have some dough left at the back-end of my life, rather than having to try to keep up with the latest technogadget and keep spending more and more money on something else I have to continue paying for long after the initial point-of-purchase….
Do we really need all this extra stuff? Or is someone else is just telling us we “need” it. Or are we just looking for some way to fill in all the spaces of our lives where we used to be left with our own thoughts, because we’re too scared or lonely or (yes!) lazy to do something else…and gadgets are easy? We can hold them in our little hands and look oh-so-danged important. Feel important, so tied in with the rest of the world with CNN and Fox News.
Okay, feeling important is no-so-small a thing, true. We all need a sense of self worth, true.
But, look, Borders supposedly sold stuff in the public interest—then why did it die?
Because public interest waned.
Everyone out there (me included) decided not to spend our hard-earned income in their corporation, that’s why. Whether or not Borders screwed over their employees (as a recent August 1st Publishers Weekly editorial suggested), is moot, because the end result is that people simply stopped spending money in there. That means that each and every one of us made a powerful statement and brought down a corporation (again, internal struggles notwithstanding—there are a lot of businesses out there not well run, yet they still survive…).
So, it seems to me, that it’s not just a matter of “them” (other people) trying to figure out what makes E-Anything work, it’s the individual. Do any of us really need any or all of these gadgets to survive?
No, we don’t. Not really.
If there’s no “need” there’s no issue.
For whatever reason, everyone’s funneling money into hand-held computers instead of books and magazines, etc. It’s an individual choice, not a corporation’s. My parents didn’t need to know where I was every second, nor did I need to know what the stock prices, breaking news, local weather, or whatever when I was a kid. I found stuff out in other ways after I was done playing or working outside. Done reading a book, or riding a bike. Chopping wood. Yes, life changes, progression should be made as a species, and so many other arguments, but, come on, do you really need all these gadgets at the expense of sanity, relaxation, income, or (in our neck of the woods) books?
It’s a choice.
If you don’t want books, buy gadgets. It’s that easy, and that seems to be the case. Though I believe it’s a big enough world for both. Choices can be redirected to other modes of improvement, and if everyone continues to focus on gadgets, that’s exactly what everyone will get.