Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Insatiable Greed

Some things do evolve into something else. Sometimes we don't realize that we NEED something until we try it. Also, sometimes we don't realize that we WANT something until we try it. What I'm referring to is with regard to electronic gadgets. When I was still taking up my undergraduate degree, I had an MP3 Player with 128 MB. It was then one of the most advanced music player then and my friends were amazed. Now, MP3 players have normally around 4 GB at least and even if you have a 4GB MP3 player, nobody cares anymore. Since when did GPS in cars become needed anyway? A few years back we only had paper maps in cars. Our cellphones then did just what they were designed to do, to call and send text messages. Now we realize that these gadgets of ours can actually be a status symbol, one that we use to flaunt our (or what we think we have) status, wealth, or prestige.

Last week, I went to the mall and tested several cellphones. Most cellphones now have features never dreamed of even a year ago. It makes me think if one is ever going to use it anyway. Anyway, it was designed to call and to text but now phones come with everything like cameras and GPS. But that's why we have a camera and a GPS receiver! Now, almost everyone I know has either an Apple iPhone or a Blackberry. I use two cellphones: One is a 3-year old Nokia and the other is a 4-year old Samsung. I have to say that I don't find the NEED to change it but still I WANT to change it.

Try going to parties, many people are already sporting DSLR Cameras (before only a few can use these ) but see how many of those really know how to shoot in full manual- maybe one in ten. Most do not even know how to hold it correctly. In computers, since when did we require using multiple cores in processors? Do we really need it? Maybe the “capability” to type while listening to music is one of the reasons of the degrading quality in one's work. Most also desire having the laptop with the Apple logo at the cover when clearly a netbook will serve his or her purpose. I still remember when we had a 75 Mhz computer. It does its job very well. Word processing was its specialty and with one click the program opens. Now, even with a dual-core laptop, my word processing program still needs several seconds before I can readily type. With regard to the law, consider the fact that these gadgets that we do have may in fact be tools for us to do something illegal. For example, if we have neighbors who have Wi-Fi but do not have password protection, many claim that it is legal to connect. However, when the Wi-Fi is password locked, it is supposed to be illegal to be “hacking” yourself in another's network. However, we can say that strictly speaking, you are not connecting to get the signal of the Wi-Fi, rather it is the signal that goes to you. It penetrates wall and allegedly, causes cancer. Now, wouldn't it be fair that if you are at risk of cancer, that you actually have the beneficial use of that thing that intrudes into your home?

Anyway, we take all the manufacturers throw at us with open arms. We cannot distinguish need from want anymore. As we upgrade more and more into the latest gadgets, we dig ourselves deeper into the “must-have” pit that once we realize it, it will already be too late to crawl out. That's why many people buy electronics on installment plans even if they cannot afford paying for it in cash. That's what I call insatiable greed.

Entry #7

John Joseph S. Parco

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