I think this post can be summed up in three sentences.
Marketers are brilliant strategists.
Depression and lack of appreciating what you have makes you the perfect target for marketers.
People who appreciate what they have end up saving the most money.
And now, let me elaborate.
When you see an advertisement for some product marketers want you to buy, what are the advertisements like? Usually they're rosy colored depictions of gorgeous smiling people, often having the time of their lives, and using their products.
Subliminal (or not so subliminal) messaging going on here. Your life isn't perfect now (whose is?), but if you buy our product, your life will be perfect, you'll be happy and in love and rich. We all know this isn't true (at least I hope so), but some part of us deep down buys it, and we become convinced that if only, if only... our lives would be better.
But if you feel content with your life, and not lacking- why would you want to buy their products? There'd be no need to chase after that elusive perfect life if your life is already perfect.
Malcontent is exactly what they want, because it is the only way to convince you that spending money on their product is what will make you happy.
There's someone in my life who loves technology. Don't get me wrong, I also like technology. It makes my life easier in so many ways, and even can help save money. But I have one big issue with technology.
It "depreciates" quickly.
Well, not even depreciates, per se (though yes, technology does tend to break and wear out faster than other items- they're made to not last), but there are constant upgrades. Constant.
I remember when the smartphones first came out. I remember how excited people first were to have their iphone or android, and thought they were the coolest things ever! People were convinced to spend lots of money on this super cool new gadget that would make their life better! Because it was just super awesome!
And then... there was an upgrade. And now there was a new phone that was even better! So now these same people that were so excited about their phones when they first got them, start complaining about all the bad things about the phone, how they need this new phone to make their life better, because with the expensive piece of technology that they just bought a few months ago, their life simply isn't good enough.
So they spend hundreds or thousands on this upgrade... putting their old one in the closet, or in the garbage and are happy with their new phone for a few months.
Until the next upgrade comes out.
And now they are sure that the phone that they were so positive would make their lives perfect is now contributing to the fact that they're not happy, but... if they only spent a few hundred more on the latest version of the phone, they'll be truly happy.
And it goes on and on and on and on and people don't realize how they're being manipulated.
Did you know that cell phone companies (and similar) purposely don't put all their features in their latest phones- they purposely leave out some features that they could potentially put in... but they don't want to, because they're saving those features for their upgrades? They do whatever possible to get you to buy as many phones from them as possible, paying more and more for each upgrade...
People go so into debt because of chasing after the latest technological upgrades- always needing to get the latest and greatest product, just because it came out and "everyone has it" can cause a significant hole in your wallet.
To learn to appreciate what you have, and see the value in it. I purposely do NOT follow the latest tech trends, and have absolutely no interest in knowing what the latest gadgets that come out are, because all that would do would possibly make me feel dissatisfied with something that I'm currently super satisfied with.
That doesn't mean that there never is a reason to upgrade tech things.
But my rule is- if it ain't broke, don't fix it. If you're currently happy with what you have, no need to look out for what is better, bigger/smaller, faster- because there will always be something better, bigger/smaller. and faster that you can spend all your money on.
If it is broken/not working, and you'd think that it was problematic even if there was no technological upgrade that someone is trying to sell to you, then go ahead- upgrade to meet your needs.
But if the needs are artificially being created by companies trying to convince you that your life will be flawed unless you buy the latest gizmos and gadgets they're selling, but if you do buy it, your life will be great- realize that what this company is really selling you is a pipe dream. Physical things- beyond basic needs in life- is not what brings happiness. In fact, richer people with more material possessions than they can count can often be super depressed.
True happiness comes from within, and appreciating what you already have can make you feel truly rich.
P.S. Though I am writing about cell phones in particular, this applies equally to computers, tablets, cars, and every other thing imaginable- even houses and spouses... Chasing after the latest upgrades in life instead of focusing on all the wonderful things that you have will make you depressed. But counting your blessings, on the other hand, is sure to make you feel truly blessed.
Are you the type of person who likes technological upgrades? Or are you more like me? If you like techie upgrades, how do you reconcile that vis a vis frugality? If you're more like me, and have a tech lover in your life, do you ever butt heads about that? Or have you managed to win tech lovers over to your way of thinking?