Friday, September 07, 2007
Nancy Reagan's answer for iPhone owners
It started off as "the right thing to say." It became a joke, and eventually became a cultural icon.
But I'm afraid it's also the answer to the folks who are whining about the $200 premium they paid for their iPhones. I've read recently that many of them feel victimized, used and abused. They're saying that they'd been listening to the iPhone hype for two years, and when the iPhones finally came out, they absolutely, positively just had to have one. Right away. No matter what it cost.
And I'm sorry, but the simple, sane answer is, "No - no, you really didn't absolutely have to have an iPhone. Nancy Reagan was right....Just say no."
No to $600 phones, and $300 jeans, and $40,000 soccer-mom vans. No to $200-a-month cell-phone texting bills. No to $500 gaming consoles and $1,500 plasma HD TVs, too.
And in case you were thinking of calling me an "old poop," just get at the end of a long line of folks over the last 20 years. I was the same way about Air Jordan basketball shoes. In 1985. (That's 22 years ago, for you calculator-impaired folks.) And those $200 NFL team coats, back when $200 meant something.
Now, don't get me wrong. I'm not sin-free in this area. Techno-gadgets are my downfall. I've probably paid close to a thousand dollars, over the last ten years, on cell-phones alone. (Hell, I've probably paid $200 in those stupid corded earphone/mike attachments, alone, not to mention chargers, cases, blah blah blah). I bought the first Sprint PCS phone, when it was a specialty-green brick with the pop-up screen. I know what it's like to pay top-dollar for being an early adopter.
But that's the point. Everyone who wants to be "the first on the block" knows that they pay a premium (and sometimes, a ridiculous premium) for being first. Look at all the morons who stood in lines for this gaming console or that one, even a few short months ago.
And let's face it, every single iPhone owner got his or her $200 of instant coolness. But the fact is, Apple introduced the iPhone in a sinking market, in a sinking economy, and it wasn't a perfect phone to begin with (especially riding the AT&T-rebranded Cingular BS network). So it's no surprise that they paid a massive premium for it. It's no different than standing outside some domed stadium, paying $1,000 for SuperBowl tickets or two seats to see Aerosmith or Billy Joel or whomever.
You're paying to be exclusive. It's how God separates fools from their money. So shut the hell up about it.
No sympathy here, folks. In my mind, anyone who can pay $600 for a phone should be required to make an equal-sized contribution to the local food-pantry. Not to punish them - but because it's the right damn thing to do.
And lest you think I don't practice what I preach, I have made a commitment to contribute to charity an amount equal to what I spend at Amazon and Borders. If I can afford the books and the CDs, I can afford the contribution. Period.
I dare the owners of iPhones - who HAD to be exclusive by belonging to the first-on-the-block club - to take that $100 coupon, and take it to your local school or Head Start program, and let THEM use it.
Because they need the money a hell of a lot more than you do. Your phone proves it.
And if you want to call me up and bitch about it, you can call me on my $49 already-obsolete-when-I-bought-it RAZR phone...