Have we become “consumer zombies”

Have we become “consumer zombies”
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Have we become “consumer zombies”

Every year, we’re told that the technology that we purchased at a very expensive cost is no longer the best and has been replaced by something better, and usually more expensive. And we Americans just go along with the assertions and pay the costs only to find that pretty soon, never technology from he same company has replaced the equipment we thought was what was best

By Ray Hanania

Last week, Apple announced its latest upgrade of the Apple iPhone. A lot of people went crazy with the news, and the media is going berserk. But I have to ask, has our generation gone nuts? Have we lost our sense of value?

Do we not care that we are being manipulated by robber barons in the technology industry who have conditioned us to accept “the ;attest,” the “newest” and the “upgraded” and to throw out perfectly good equipment that we paid a fortune to own only a few years back?

I use the iPhone 8. When it came out, Apple promised it was the greatest cellular, camera and computer system available. It only cost about $1,000 when I bought it.

Fitbit technology is working smoothly but the wrist bands don't last, forcing you to repurchase a new $300-plus system.

Fitbit technology is working smoothly but the wrist bands don’t last, forcing you to repurchase a new $300-plus system.

Why did I buy it? Because it was better than the iPhone 6 that I used to have? Or, is that we have become consumer zombies and we just have to buy the newest things that these companies have released?

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Why do I need the iPhone 11? The iPhone 8 that I have works fine. The camera is good. Do I really need to spend another $1,400 to make it a little bit better? Worse, to purchase something that in two years will be made obsolete again by Apple’s robber barons?

The release of the latest iPhone by Apple is a symptom of a society that has lost all sense of value. We have become an “I want” society. We “want” things that we don’t need any more.

I have 12,000 digital photos on my current iPhone cloud. I can’t even enjoy the pictures I have taken because I have taken so many it is impossible to humanly scan the photos the way we used to flip through even thick photo albums with printed photographs.

I understand if Apple had announced that it had invented something that replaced the mobile telephone. Maybe something that allowed us to merge our needs with easier access to the massive storage of data online that provides answers to everything.

Maybe, they announced that they invented a pair of glasses you where that you talk to and ask questions, like, “When was president John F. Kennedy assassinated and why?” The answers appear to us in the glass screens inf ront of our eyes and we get the answers instantly.

I could use that kind of technology. Sure. Getting answers to questions that I think are important, if not necessary to answer at all.

My wife has the Samsung phone. She doesn’t want to buy the new one. Why should she? We don’t need “slightly better.” So what if the picture is a little better in the iPhone 11 or that the sounds is slightly better, or that the battery that Apple sold us in the iPhone 8 that was corrupted intentionally and crashed, is better in the iPhone 11?

Why do I need all that?

How about inventing technology that lets me take my index fingers and touch them to my Temples allowing me to ask any question I want and the answer just pops up out of nowhere. I’d spend $1,400 on that.

But do we really need to spend more buy to replaced the technology we have simply because it has inched the “quality” of what a cell phone does a few inches further than the last version?

There is something morally corrupt about a society that is willing to throw away a perfectly good cell phone for something that “does it a little better.”

Never mind that we are also dealing with the corruption of the principle of “loyalty.” Loyalty to things that work, things that already give us what we need. Do we need a cell phone that takes even better photos? Has even better sound? Has even better picture quality? Has a better battery?

You know that in two years they are going to come out with the iPhone 15 which they will claim will replace the shortcomings of the iPhone 11 which will be obsolete. Un-cool. No longer serviceable.

Wouldn’t it be great if we told Apple to shove it! Stop selling us junk that they assert is great when they offer it and garbage when they launch the “next generation?”

When is it all going to end?

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Ray Hanania

Ray Hanania is an award winning political and humor columnist who analyzes American and Middle East politics, and life in general. He is an author of several books.

"I write about three topics, the Middle East, politics and life in general. I often take my life experiences and offer them in an entertaining way to readers, and I take on the toughest topics like the Israel-Palestine conflict and don't pull any punches about what I feel is fair. But, my priority is always about writing the good story."

Hanania covered Chicago Politics and Chicago City Hall from 1976 through 1992. Hanania began writing in 1975 when he published The Middle Eastern Voice newspaper in Chicago (1975-1977). He later published “The National Arab American Times” newspaper which was distributed through 12,500 Middle East food stores in 48 American States (2004-2007).

Hanania writes weekly columns on Middle East and American Arab issues for the Arab News in Saudi Arabia at www.ArabNews.com, and at www.TheArabDailyNews.com, www.TheDailyHookah.com and at SuburbanChicagoland.com. He has also published weekly columns in the Jerusalem Post newspaper, YNetNews.com, Newsday Newspaper in New York, the Orlando Sentinel Newspapers, and the Arlington Heights Daily Herald.

Palestinian, American Arab and Christian, Hanania’s parents originate from Jerusalem and Bethlehem.

Hanania is the recipient of four (4) Chicago Headline Club “Peter Lisagor Awards” for Column writing. In November 2006, he was named “Best Ethnic American Columnist” by the New American Media. In 2009, Hanania received the prestigious Sigma Delta Chi Award for Writing from the Society of Professional Journalists. He is the recipient of the MT Mehdi Courage in Journalism Award. He was honored for his writing skills with two (2) Chicago Stick-o-Type awards from the Chicago Newspaper Guild. In 1990, Hanania was nominated by the Chicago Sun-Times editors for a Pulitzer Prize for his four-part series on the Palestinian Intifada.

His writings have also been honored by two national Awards from ADC for his writing, and from the National Arab American Journalists Association.

The managing editor of Suburban Chicagoland Online News website www.SuburbanChicagoland.com, Hanania's columns also appear in the Southwest News Newspaper Group of 8 newspapers.

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