Wednesday, April 18, 2007

How do you plan to pay for this iPhone?

About two years ago my wife and I got a digital video camera. We wanted to document our family in film. Since we had just welcomed our first child into our family months before, we thought it fitting to get a camera. I am the type of person that once I start a desire for an electronic device, I obsess over obtaining said device until it is mine. I got the camera bug, and I needed that camera or my life was over. After some research, Jamie and I decided to get a Cannon (ZR2 I believe). We were and still are happy with our purchase. One of the benefits of having a digital video camera is the option of uploading the data right to your computer and editing it on the spot. The problem was we didn't own a computer that was strong enough to handle such uploads and we had no DVD burner. We were in need of a new computer.

Now the computer bug was in me and it gnawed at me more then the camera one did. I ate, slept, and dressed in the idea of getting a new computer. At the time, we had a custom built computer with left over parts from a computer nerd I knew. It had an AMD Anthem 1200MH processor with about 384 RAM. It was suitable for our needs before the camera came along.

I started to look around for computer options. I try to use every option I can think of to get a good computer at a good price. We considered shopping: online, in store, or look for someone we could get an employee discount from. A engineering friend, who worked for Northrop Grummet (who also was a computer nerd), had connections with HP. We used that connection and got hooked up with a sweet computer.

Now it all sounds fine and dandy getting a new computer and stuff, well it is and it isn't. It is fine because we got the computer, yet it is not fine because through the whole process of research and waiting for the computer, I couldn't get the dang thing off my mind. Who wants to live their life thinking about one thing? Now, if it was something we needed for survival then that is understandable, but if it is more wanted than needed, then that is when sanity needs to be questioned. I sure drove my wife crazy, and I drove myself a little crazy too. I was annoyed with myself because I couldn't control my own thoughts. We finally got the computer after I got a bonus at work for all the awesome work I did (everyone else got a bonus too, but most of the money came from our Hawaii vacation fund...$800). We decided not to go for some reason. The computer was great and still is, yet I still feel bad about the obsession that drove me.

Now it is two years later and another obsession has hit me. The stupid cell phone bug. Cell phones are more then phones; they are handheld computers. I love that! A few months ago I wrote a post about my thought on how cell phones have changed society. I first wanted to get a Helio Drift because of its internet abilities and GPS system. I had the tech bug bad with this one. Our current contract with Verizon is over in late May and I just couldn't wait till then to have the Drift. Sometime in late February I finally broke down and went against my better judgment and my wife's, and purchased a Drift. I justify my actions to myself because the bug told me to.

After an hour of laying in bed still thinking about whether I should or should not have purchased the phone, my better half of me stepped in and said, "If you can't sleep over the purchase of a stupid cell phone, you shouldn't have bought it in the first place." I decided on that spot that I was going to cancel my order in the morning. And I did. I was amazed at the relief I felt after cancelling the order. I no longer thought about the phone. I still think the phone is cool, but I'm not obsessed with it anymore.

Now looking back I can say I have more empathy for those who have an addiction of any sort. I in the most minimal way was addicted to something that was frivolous, yet at the time it was all I could think about. I think some of the addiction was driven by a desire to have something I can't and shouldn't get. It was like being at Candy Mountain with my hand and feet tied. I could see and smell all the candy, but I could not partake.

My obsession was gone and I had all this money left over... let me back up for a second. In order to fund my obsession for the Drift, I thought it would be unfair to my family to use our regular income to fund a second cell phone bill. In early February I decided to work for my brother, Geoff, who owns event ticket sites. You can find links to these sites on the right side of my blog in the link section. I run the Las Vegas and Seattle sites, and Jamie runs the San Diego and Los Angeles sites. These sites are made to help people find after market tickets to events and concerts. I get a certain dollar amount for each post I write and I allocate that money for my personal use. Jamie and I are under the agreement that our hourly jobs are for bills and expenses. Our web money can be spent on whatever our hearts desire.

Like I said at the beginning of the last paragraph, I had money left over that I didn't spend on the Drift. I still wanted a cool phone and I had ruled out getting the Drift because Helio didn't have any family plans and I didn't want to think about it anymore. Then it dawned on me! I could get the iPhone. Yes! I could get the iPhone. It is perfect on so many levels, and I will tell you why.

It isn't out yet.

1. I can't obsess about it and break down because it isn't out for me to buy even if I did break down.
2. The phone will fulfill all my wants and easily fill my needs.
3. I can save up to get it.
4. There are family plans.

I have been saving up for the last two months for the June release date and I feel good about myself. I mainly feel good because I am able to save and work for the phone I want. I feel like I cheat myself when I go with every whim and buy thing on credit. Instant gratification is a problem and I don't want to be involved with it.

2 comments:

Shawn Dowler said...

iPhone is going to be amazing. The day after the announcement in January everyone in my office was going NUTS over it. I printed out a color copy of the phone from different angles and made one out of cardboard for a coworker.

Everyone wants the iPhone, even though it's going to take a buttload of cash to get one. Something tells me you will not regret waiting for it.

I can sympathize with you on the obsession for tech. I am the same way. I keep talking up all the virtues of the thing until my wife decides that if I want it that bad, I should just go get it. I waited for 4 months to get the Wii, and I obsessed about it almost every day. I'd like to break that habit. Maybe we should join Tochoholics Anonymous.

Spencer J said...

Hello... my name is Spencer J, and I am a techoholic. I find myself pushing buttons on imaginary devices. I sometimes wish my wife was a robot because I love electronics so much. That way I could combine the two things I love most.