Consume Less in the Material World

Last week Apple has announced its latest product: the new AirPods Max. It is currently not yet available for sale on Amazon as I’m writing this article, but the Amazon US shows the retail price: a handsome US$ 549. I’m sure, the design and the quality of this product will be super duper awesome. This makes me thinking, however: do we really need another headphone? Do we really need to always have the newest gadget every 2-3 years?

I used to own iPhone 4, then iPhone 6, and in between I bought Macbook Air, all in a short period of time. A business owner I know once posted in a social media something like, “This is my 3rd or 4th iWatch I bought this year”, with a smiley face at the end of that sentence.

Don’t get me wrong. This is not an Apple-bashing post, as I respect their products and innovation (I could have written other products as examples in this article). We can spend our own money however we want, because we work hard for it and we deserve it. It also boosts the economy and give everyone a job.

It is inevitable, that we are living in a material world (that Madonna song is playing in my head right now). It is in our nature to impress other human beings, and showing off stuff we possess that make others envy is one way to do it. To most people, it is the only way.

But somehow to me, it is getting ridiculous. Every year, there is a new version of a product we already have. Just because it now has back and front cameras. Because the battery lasts 0.01% longer. It is also ridiculous for me to spend 400 euros on a watch, 500 euros on a headphone, and 1000 euros on a phone, just to be replaced in the next year or two.

Consume Less

I know it is not for everyone, but I’m done with such things now. I’m done impressing people with the material I own. I want to keep stuffs that are still working.

I still use my old Macbook Air I bought in 2015. I’m still satisfied with my wired Beat headphone I bought in 2016. I replaced my iPhone 6 with a more modest Xiaomi mobile phone (a China brand, made in Indonesia!) that cost me 164.99 euros in 2018.

And that is not only about gadgets. My car is almost 5 years old now, and I intend to keep it until it can’t run anymore, hopefully longer than the next 5 years. My bag is a handmade leather with my name on it, but only cost me around 80 euros because I ordered it directly from a home-based leather bag producer in Indonesia.

This is not about buying cheap. This is about consuming less. This is about buying a quality product that can last years and replacing it only when it needs to be, not when their marketing department tells you to.


Photo by Victor Xok on Unsplash

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