I’m not a prototypical consumer, but I am very accomplished when it comes to buying things I don’t need. I own a little Xiaomi universal IR blaster with which I can control the TV and air-conditioner in my room with my phone. I have at least 5 pairs of earphones, but only 1 pair of ears. I have a podcasting microphone, but I haven’t podcasted in years. I have a Raspberry Pi, and I don’t even like raspberries. Three mice are scampering around my various desks.
My current phone (which I’m satisfied with) is a Samsung Galaxy S9+. I bought it when it launched way-way back in March of 2018. Being that it’s now October 2018, I have no business looking at mobile phones, at least not with the intention to buy. I have no need for a new mobile phone. So why am I checking out the $1,440 Huawei Mate 20 Pro? Because I am a human geek from America, and the media trained me to seek out and consume technology, that’s why.
I probably won’t buy a new phone this year, probably. But I find it disturbing that I want to buy this phone. Tech news sites and podcasts prey upon the geek’s natural desire for cool, new technology. The media feeds us glorified press releases masquerading as news, custom-built to appeal to our appetite for gadgets. The media programmed me to seek out news and information so that when I see something shiny and awesome, I’m primed to buy it as soon as I can. My self-control is constantly being put to the test. Services like Amazon Prime which offer near-instant satisfaction would certainly endanger my bank account were I living in the US right now.