February 02, 2005

Why Apple Is Bad For The Youth Of America

Who am I kidding? I am a rather firm entry into the Cult of Mac. It started with an Apple GSII years and years ago. Then, after the “dark ages” with a Radio Shack Tandy-brand PC, I re-entered the Mac-fray with a used PowerMac 8500 in 1996 – which I took out a $3000 personal loan for (which I ended up paying $7200 for, all-told - yeah, I was a smart inverstor!). But it came with everything: pre-loaded software, a 17” monitor, a HUGE flatbed scanner and more SCSI cables than I knew what to do with.

And I stuck with it until 2002. Why? Because I was a poor single girl workin’ for a livin’! I didn’t have wads of cash to go out and blow $2000 on a new computer… at least, not until I blew my wad on a 1st generation G4 “lamp” iMac. My boss ordered one and had it shipped to the office. When I first saw it online I thought “whatever”, but when he booted up and showed me the “Cosmos” screensaver, I just HAD to have it!

So I took money leftover from a vacation combined with a tax refund and bought myself a G4 iMac with the SuperDrive. I thought: “THIS will be my opportunity to do all those nifty creative things I always wanted to do!” But of course, to do those things I needed a digital camcorder ($1200), and a USB scanner for my film photos ($300), and, ultimately a digital still camera ($800), because scanning just takes too long. And then the SMALLER digital camera, to keep in my pocket ($300).

And then I had to have an iBook. I had always wanted an Apple laptop. I remember, in high school, driving down to the local Apple Reseller to look at their $3000 portable notebook computers. The black casing, the little trackball… with my drool all over them… I digress.

My new “hip” digital lifestyle meant getting out and documenting my travels and travails with these new tools. And a laptop would aid that in so many respects. Just think: I could watch DVDs while flying over the Atlantic! Or, I could type in a trip journal while parked on the side of a dirt road in Monument Valley! Or I could load and edit video footage while on holiday. So I went and picked up a G3/800 12” iBook ($1300).

Don’t even get me STARTED on the iPod. I purchased iPod minis for my siblings this past Christmas. Why? Because they didn’t have them… WHY WOULD I DENY THEM? A couple years back, I even bought my little brother an iMac because, well, he needed a computer, and I wasn’t about to let my father buy him some $600 Dell Desktop.

You can now see how entry into the “Apple digital lifestyle” can suck the money out of someone. The draw to consume newer, faster, cooler Apple products is growing within me. I can feel it. I can feel myself asking myself: “But why can’t I buy a G5 tower with a 23” Cinema Display?? I have a savings account I can surely dip into!”

And that, my friends, is why Apple is hurting the youth of America. I need to be saving for a condo, and for retirement. I can’t keep throwing thousands of dollars into equipment every other year to keep up with the fantastically-fun features it allows. I thought I was fairly reserved in my spending, but I've probably spent over $15,000 on Apple-related stuff since 1996!! It’s pretty safe to assume that there are young adults out there sacrificing their savings for photo iPods, G5 towers, 30" Cinema displays, and software-galore; spending money they should be saving.

This desire to consume all-that-is Apple plagues me to this very moment. The digital photography thing has me now wanting to upgrade; to have more processing power, and maybe a larger monitor. But I’m going to deny myself this for the time being… I need to save up for when Tiger is released!

posted by julie at February 2, 2005 02:02 PM

things people have said

I'm a recent convert to the Cult. For a long, long, LONG time I was a Mac-bashin', IBM-compatible-lovin' technophile. Then I got into Linux and laughed still harder. Then I saw OSX. Now my Powerbook G4 and iPod go with me EVERYWHERE. Those poor, silly young adults blowing their savings on Dual 2.5GHz G5 towers with dual 30" cinema displays and a Jiggabyte of RAM?? That's gonna be me in about a month unless fate intervenes. I didn'd really need to go to grad school, anyway!

so said: Erik at February 2, 2005 07:15 PM

Say......I was wondering......I would really like that 30" with a new G5....to replace my 3 year old G4 and 23" cinema display..........what do ya say could I be your nephew for a day?

The wife says I can't have them until I get more clients. She's an EVIL person.

Tous grêlent Apple!


so said: RB at February 3, 2005 07:55 AM