Hari Shanker R

Hari Shanker R

A Happiness Engineer at Automattic.

5 Reasons Why Splurging On Gadgets May Be Not Worth It

Let’s face it: gadgets have become a part and parcel of our lives. We’ve become so ‘connected’ to them (pun intended), that we cannot imagine a moment without them. Many among us (myself included) spend a sizable proportion of our income on buying the brand new editions of the latest gadgets on the block. But,  is spending the equivalent of your entire month’s salary on a device which you may not necessarily need, worth it? Read on to find out why it may not be – at least for many among us.

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1) Many people buy expensive gadgets just because they are… well, expensive!

It’s true. At the end of the day, any gadget, irrespective of its ‘smartness’, is is just an accessory. Now, isn’t owning an expensive accessory the best way to make your friends envious? When the ‘accessory’ in concern is a smartphone or a tablet, its oomph value actually skyrockets. This phenomenon was more prevalent in the early 2010’s when smartphones were not as common as they are now.  I know many people who maxed out their credit cards to buy iPhones, just because they felt owning the device probably made them feel like Steve Jobs himself! Even today, when almost every other kid in the block owns a smartphone, people buy shiny and expensive smartphones (with features no different from phones that cost less than half), just because they think owning such devices makes them special. If you’re one among such people, I’m really really sorry to break your bubble. You are no different from that friendly-neighborhood millionaire who sports gold-plated teeth cause he thinks it makes him look cool. 🙂

nobody cares

2) An overpriced device is a dead investment. 

You don’t find the average user making more than what he spent by selling his used phone (there are exceptions). Coming to think of it, any electronic device is a dead investment. In all probability, you may not make extra money by opting for an expensive gadget. You would only lose out on the margin, thanks to its depreciation in value over time. If that’s the case, what’s the point spending a lot of money on such gadgets? With both expensive and entry level phones using the same operating system and the same applications, spending more on an expensive device definitely makes no economic sense for most people.

3) “But, but my phone has that supercool feature that no other device has!” 

Oh really? So you emptied your bank account to buy a ‘better’ phone that can, well, check your pulse as well? LOL.  Just think. Are you REALLY gonna use your phone to check your pulse every now and then? How many features of your smartphone do you actually use? Apart from social networking, messaging, playing Flappy Bird and taking selfies, that is? The biggest joke is, all smartphones were initially touted for their myriad productivity enhancing applications! One look at iOS/Android store, and you’ll realize how popular these productivity-enhancing applications are. 🙂

4) Your phone may be new… but not for long. 

Technology changes fast, phones get old. Within a year, your device’s price gets halved (think Galaxy S3/S4). Not your ego. But, you absolutely have to own the best gadget in the world, don’t you?  Fueled by peer pressure, you get yourself a new (and better) gadget. And voila! You’re the proud owner of the shiny new phone that’s been getting rave reviews from all over the world. The icing in the cake is, you were one of the first people in your country to own it too (thanks to ‘offers’ from ecommerce portals) Now, don’t forget to put up a status about it too! Of course your gadget will lose its sheen in barely a year, but who cares? You can always buy a new one, can’t you? So, is splurging on something that you’ll be changing for sure in a year or two, really worth the extra expense?

5) Yawn… 

Economics aficionados would definitely have come across the term ‘diminishing marginal utility’. To cut the jargon crap, it means that the more you use an item, the satisfaction you gain from using it decreases with successive use. The smartphone is the quintessential example of this theory. With the average user not bothering to explore its many applications, anybody would get bored with his/her device in a matter of months. My question is, what’s the point spending a fortune on a device that you’d eventually get bored of?

The Last Ink Drop

When I say that splurging on gadgets may not make sense, I definitely do not advocate everybody to get a budget device/smartphone! 🙂 After all, it’s each man unto himself. Of course, some of the more expensive devices are power packed and provide a great user experience to the discerning user. 🙂 That said, I cannot say the same for the average gadget user in a developing country like mine where the average ‘high end’ smartphone costs way more than the monthly pay package of an average citizen. If you view gadgets as power-packed advanced devices, and you can think of multiple ways in which they can (realistically) help you, and of course if you’re rich enough to afford it,  it makes sense to buy a high-end gadget. Else, give it a miss. A feature-rich laptop/smartphone/tablet is just the thing you need . 🙂

© 2017, Hari Shanker R. Some Rights Reserved.
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