It’s been a really long time since I did a post on hardware recommendations. I guess it’s better late than never.
Social norms are really powerful. The inputs that influence you are really powerful. A great video, talk, or book can convince you that you should be acting and thinking like that.
But the worst thing in life would be a death-bed regret that you’ve spent your life pursuing what someone said you should want, instead of what you really want.
For example, if you really want to make a lot of money, you need to admit that.
If you really want to be famous, you need to pursue that.
If you really want freedom and no responsibilities, or to learn as much as possible, or whatever else, you need to realize it and embrace it.
But whatever you decide, you need to optimize for that, and be willing to let go of the others.
Derek Sivers posted a pretty powerful post that is definitely worth the read.
We don’t have to believe that Apple will make our lives better, cooler, more beautiful. We don’t have to watch the Harry Potter movie (the last one was kinda lame) or every blockbuster that comes out. We don’t have to believe that Victoria’s Secret and H&M will make us sexier, or that we need Lululemon or Gap Body to get fitter, or that we need designer water or Starbucks coffee or Powerbar for health or nourishment, or that we need Bud Light or Heineken to have fun (or get girls).
We don’t need to play. Let’s live instead: everything essential is nearly free anyway.
This pretty much sums up how I feel about advertising and consumerism today. I don’t claim to be immune to it, and I’m certainly influenced by advertising, but realisation is the first step to solving a problem.
So let’s take that first step.
It was just after dinner today that I was wondering how a teenager of 2016 views the social media platforms that are currently available, and I stumbled upon this article on Backchannel.
Snapchat has a lot less social pressure attached to it compared to every other popular social media network out there. This is what makes it so addicting and liberating.
It covers the usual platforms, including Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Snapchat, Instagram, and some others.
As for myself. I’m still busy trying to figure out Twitter and Snapchat.
I’ve always been trying to formulate a good question to ask myself before I buy anything.
While I usually ask myself “do I really need this?” I don’t always do the right thing, but it does help me be more deliberate about what I purchase.
Recently Joshua Becker posted what I feel is a much better question.
The question is this: But what if I don’t?
Whenever you feel the pull of consumerism, simply ask yourself the shortened version of this thought, “What might I be able to do if I didn’t make this purchase?”
Every purchase contains an opportunity cost. The question, “But what if I don’t?”, forces us to recognize and articulate it.
I think most of us don’t really stop to think the amount of effort needed to actually acquire the money in our wallet, or in the case of credit cards, the amount of effort that will be needed in order to pay the bill that will arrive in the upcoming statement.
I believe if I actually take the time to stop and think about it, we’ll drastically reduce the number of frivolous purchases that we make.