Personal Finance and the iPhone Affect
How many hours will you waste this year staring at your hand?
That’s the rhetorical question I asked in a comment to this sad admission from a personal finance blogger: I Want the New iPhone & I Don’t Care What’s In It. It seems that the Latte Factor has now been joined by the iPhone Affect.
I get that everyone has their spending weaknesses. We spend a lot of money supporting a horse and on boating. We enjoy these activities. Smithee, the writer with iPhone lust, will “enjoy” his gadget, while exercising his fingers in the process.
But there is a difference. We haven’t had any consumer debt for many years. If you read the entire Consumerism Commentary piece, you will learn that Smithee’s planned purchase of yet another iPhone will coincide with finally paying off his credit card debt, which has hung around since 1997. While I commend him for paying off his credit cards in only 13 years (OK – some sarcasm there), is this the way you celebrate? Buying a gadget because “the faster processor tickles my envy bone?”
How about investing that money, Smithee? Or if you must buy something that you can hold in your hand and stare at, how about a book? Maybe a book about personal finance? I think you have some catching up to do.
Smithee is not alone. There are millions who are obsessively connected to an iPhone. Many of them pay dearly in time and dollars to maintain that connection.
On the other hand, I’m on a bit of a revolt against what the iPhone represents. I’ve owned two smart phones in the past five years, fully loaded and linked to my office. I’m tired of the information overload. I’m tired of paying for a data plan just so I can feel “connected” no matter what I’m doing. I’m tired of watching people stare at their hands while riding up the elevator only 30 seconds from their office. I don’t want to be one of those people anymore.
I believe my next phone will be a simple talk and text device with no contract and no data plan. Two of my adult sons use those phones. They seem to survive just fine. If I am so inclined, I can have my daily calendar, important reminders, and critical email from important clients sent to me as a text message. That’s all the information I need to walk around with.
The iPhone Affect is not a good thing. At least think about it.