This morning I read about a new smartphone app. It enables the smartphone user to scan a barcode and immediately purchase an item in a store or online.
I perfectly understand that a smartphone is only as smart as its dumb user, so I don’t usually “get” (as in understand) or “get” (as in purchase) so-called apps that aim to make my life happen faster. Especially in the area of buying stuff. Delayed gratification. That was a life skill, right along with independence, carefully cultivated in me by my parents.
Ages ago, with my first adult, full-time employment paycheck in the bank, I felt immediately the intoxicating persuasion of purchasing power. It was, to be specific, the intoxicating fragrance known as “new car smell.” Sitting in the driver’s seat of a sporty car in a dealer showroom, I could easily calculate the joy of trading in my college clunker for something more exciting. Luckily, at the time, there wasn’t an app for instant gratification.
That night, I called my dad, not a paragon of restraint when it came to the allure of a new car, but still…. His counsel went something like this: Yes, a new car would be great. But before you decide, give your old car a good wash, and clean it up inside. Then stand back and take a long look at it. Think about adding a car payment and other expenses to what you owe and what you want. Still want it? Well, then. Enjoy.
I didn’t buy that new car. My old clunker served me well for another ten years.
These days, it isn’t buying the big stuff that seems to be a problem. It’s the countless little things–only an app away–that add up. My defenses are usually pretty good. However, because the phone wouldn’t stop nagging me, I downloaded the “app.” I haven’t figured out how to use it yet and I probably won’t.
Life rolls over me too fast as it is.