The student news site of El Camino College

El Camino College The Union

The student news site of El Camino College

El Camino College The Union

The student news site of El Camino College

El Camino College The Union

My View: He who dies with the most gadgets does not win

Years ago, problems between neighbors ranged from whose lawn was perfectly mowed or whose garden had the most colorful flowers.

Life was much simpler before technology conquered everything.

The competition between people has gradually increased and now people measure each other by how advanced one is in the technology scale.

Due to the boom of technology, we now tend to define success by the number of material possessions one has.

In a world where neighbors compare status not only in terms of who earns more, but also by how much stuff one purchase, people are rushing out the door as soon as the latest, most technologically advanced gadget hits the stores.

Once upon a time, the purpose of these gadgets was to make life easier. We fail to see this point now because it seems like the current use of these gadgets is to complicate our lives even further.

Last Sunday, the LA Times even published an entire magazine dedicated to home theater systems, and it listed the latest products one should have to be at par with the increasing number of families investing in home theaters.

Once there was the flat screen, the HDTV; then there came the plasma. But lo and behold, the plasma TV’s now pale in comparison to the DLP, which stands for Digital Light Processor and is considered to be the “latest technology” in supposedly giving you the total home theater experience. People actually shell out $100,000 or more to bring the big screen home.

We have become parallels of the grade school kids who compare each other by how early one received the latest installment of the “Harry Potter” series, rather than who got the most out of the reading.

This is not to say we should all live like castaways and boycott the latest computer software as it comes, nor head immediately to some unknown town in the Midwest and tame cattle. But we should exercise our purchasing power by availing useful products of technology.

There’s nothing wrong with wanting to be the best, because the desire to be No. 1 instills a certain kind of motivation and inspiration in us.

But striving to surpass a rank that cannot be achieved in the first place is dangerous. To be known for having the “most technologically advanced living room” will only last about a day.

We should not base achievement or rank on material possessions. Success should not be defined by how many things we have; it should rather be characterized by self-fulfillment in terms of reaching one’s dreams and how hard one squeezes the juices out of life.

Society has started a phenomenon where the latest factor to “fit in” is to have high-performance machinery.

The satisfaction that comes from obtaining the latest MP3 player or the flattest television screen is fleeting. It gets too old quickly.

However, long-term fulfillment is achieved by bettering oneself in terms of things that really matter. We would be better off if we invested in hobbies that would enhance our inner growth rather than waste money just to have something to brag about.

Look at Nintendo’s new DS player that will be released on Nov. 12. The company boasts of the new player’s dual-screen.

The new player can also play games intended for the Game Boy Advance, so it’s not all that different from its predecessor. But because people just have to have the best, they will spend $149 on some new gadget that can play all the games as well as the old player can.

Michael Pachter of the Wedbush Morgan Securities said, There are a lot of gamers out there who will have (the DS) just for bragging rights.”

Surprise, surprise; just as I thought.

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