As I waited on pins and needles for the new iPhone 4 to be released by AT&T and to change my technologically inclined world, I came to a very interesting conclusion. Exactly one year ago I waited on pins and needles for the new Blackberry Storm, which was also supposed to change my already technologically inclined world. In a world where technology has become a significant part of our lives and owning the latest gizmo makes you “legit,” I wonder are people too materialistic? Or is society’s love and curiosity for technology masking itself as materialism?
People are constantly upgrading, in an effort to have a faster connection, clearer screen, flawless service and unlimited functionality. Once again, is it the need to have the best or the curiosity to see how much we can push these devices, that are replacing verbal communication, let alone face-to-face interaction?
One of my closest friends, James, dislikes speaking on the phone, yet he constantly owns the latest phones. I asked him “Why?” and he simply responded, “I’m not a phone person, because I enjoy more face-to-face communication, and the reason why I own the latest phones is because I like them.”
This is where we differ. I enjoy texting, talking, tweeting, facebooking, and myspacing because I’m enamored by technology and enjoy remaining plugged in. I own the latest phones, because they’re cool, and I consider myself to be a 21-year-old cool kid.
While viewing the summer catalogs for various phones such as Apple’s iPhone 4, Verizon’s Droid, and Sprint’s Evo, I took a good, long look at the numerous features each phone offered. From voice text, to video calling, to GPS, each phone had the standard features, while additionally possessing features most people, all of a sudden, cannot live without. I mean no offense, but do I really need to be able to order Chipotle whenever I want from my phone without calling? Or is it necessary to own a phone that has its own kickstand?
I interviewed a recent African American college graduate and posed the following question to her: Are people becoming increasingly materialistic? Or is society’s love and curiosity for technology masking itself as materialism?
“I don’t feel like people are materialistic or are victims of consumerism. In my opinion, there are so many options to what a person can have. We get something, and then we realize there is something more fun out there. The reason I don’t change phones every month is because of the two-year contract. If it weren’t for that, I’d service-hop, whenever I felt the need. The curiosity becomes an issue, when people are consuming more than they have the funds for or purchasing simply just to ‘keep up with the Jones.’” This has always been a problem for African Americans, and keeps us owning the latest phones, while never owning our own homes.
Taking into consideration her views on this subject I began to wonder: Have African Americans owned the latest, while not owning the smartest?
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