To be content with little is difficult; to be content with much, impossible.
– Marie von Ebner-Eschenbach
Technology oriented hobbyists know a dark problem: GAS. No, not what happens after you had Mexican food; we’re talking about Gear Acquisition Syndrome. The desire to always have newer and better gear, sometimes maybe also just something different, seeing how the grass is always greener… But is it only limited to the mentioned scenario? I think in today’s world, we have “Gear Acquisition Syndrome” regarding most things. My girlfriend counted my shoes and I was convinced she miscounted but damn, do I have many shoes. At the same time I’m nursing a wish to have shoes I’m lacking. Gaps want to be filled!
Heated up by imagined pressure through social media, we always strive for upgrades. Photographing with your phone is convenient, but isn’t a dedicated camera better? What about a full frame camera with f/1.4 aperture lenses? Yah, I thought so, go away mobile phone photography peasants. Unless you get sponsored to wave around your Daniel Wellington watch (meh!), will you opt for a Patek Philippe on an exotic leather strap or rather the Rolex on a steel bracelet? Besides, can you settle for steel or do you lust for gold? Let’s disregard the fact that you already carry a phone 24/7 which is a perfectly accurate time keeping instrument.
Everything on the lifestyle side of Instagram gives you the feeling of insufficiency and the need to go one step further. Do you wear off the rack suits? If you can’t afford bespoke, why not at least grasp for made-to-measure? Suits don’t have brand logos over them but still everyone will rain approval if they easily identify one of the iconic house cuts on you. The same is valid for shoes, glasses, pocket squares, ties, and bags, basically everything.
But what is it that incites the fire in us that burns up our content? As of writing this, tomorrow Apple will announce the new iPhone. It’s the iPhone 8 or X and then also the 7s to tag along I’ve heard. It won’t do anything that you actually need that the current one doesn’t. Not that the current one really does anything important that the one before didn’t (hands up who actually uses that 3D touch gimmick!).
Is it just because it’s new? Is it because your peers approve? Is it because needlessly buying fancy crap fills a hole in our souls? Do we buy mass produced stuff just because there’s a good sale going? Do we buy custom produced goods because we’re trying to move away from the masses?
Let’s just ignore the ecological implication of buying things that deduct from finite resource pools while throwing away what we have, how often do you have buyer’s remorse? I guess we all invested into things that ultimately didn’t live up to our expectation (and we didn’t literally invest, we just sunk money).
I’m not getting any closer to making a point because I didn’t escape from consumerism. I just bought a NAS for the house because it’s better than backing up to external hard drives like a pleb. I guess. I’m still defining parts of my personality with the goods I purchase and consume. But I like to think about how happy I could be if I could be happy with what I have.
Is this where I should put an affiliate pre-order link for the new iPhone so I get money?! Because I need money, I need more shoes dude!