It’s Tempting to Splurge on the iPhone 7 -- but It's Time to Say No


Yesterday, half of the Internet waited with bated breath for the gods at Apple to bestow them with news -- any scrap would do -- about the much-buzzed-about new iPhone 7.


Twitter was alight with the news out of San Francisco -- that this new, beautiful phone would be waterproof (okay, okay, water resistant, but still!), have an even better camera for all those selfies you're bound to take, and, controversially, contain no headphone jack. 

While my Facebook feed erupted with emphatic cries of "ALREADY SOLD MY FIRSTBORN FOR THIS PHONE, GUYS" and "OMG technology is the best!!!!" I'm here saying that yes, while it may be nice to have a 12-megapixel camera document every fine line and pore on my face, I'm just not going to line up to get one.

It's not because of the lack of headphone jack or the cost ($769 for a 32GB version, $869 for 128GB). It's because my old iPhone 5S (a veritable dinosaur in Apple time) still works perfectly well. I don't need a new one. And I'm guessing you don't either.

Odds are, if you have an iPhone 5 or 6, it still functions. It may be a little dinged, a little worse for wear, but it still makes calls and takes pictures -- essentially, all the things a smartphone should do.

More from CafeMom: 7 Ways Your iPhone Is Ruining Your Life

Then why do we all lose our sh*t every time a new Apple product is announced, spending all kinds of dolla dolla bills on something that is a slight upgrade from the model before it?

Is it really just as simple as keeping up with the Cool Kids and having all of the latest gadgets? The answer's probably yes. We just can't help showing off for each other and basking in the attention a new smartphone, lipstick, or shoes may bring you.

It also comes from our crazy consumer-driven culture, which tells you that old = bad and new = good, except when it comes to wine and money. Having something Old and Out of Date makes you irrelevant.

I got my current iPhone, incidentally, after I turned in an old iPhone 5 for work last spring. "So you'll be upgrading to the iPhone 6S?" the store clerk asked, practically sprinting to get me an iPhone 6 box. "Nope, I want a 5S," I told him. He looked at me blankly for a few moments before regaining his composure. "But ... the 6S is better," he said, going off into a litany of things that this newer, shinier, bigger phone could do, seeing his commission shrinking.

But here's the thing -- I had quit my editor job to go freelance, and really only needed a phone that was going to take pictures, make calls, and send text messages. It wasn't worth the extra $40 or so a month so my Instagram followers wouldn't have to suffer through somewhat grainier pictures.

More from CafeMom: 7 Reasons Why Technology Is Ruining Your Life

My grandparents grew up during the Great Depression and, for a very long time, didn't have much. My parents were raised on the ethos that you keep things until they wear out. Yes, it was part practicality, but there's a pride there that's largely been forgotten.

In our throwaway culture, people buy without thinking, resorting to cheap, fast fashion instead of something that will last for years.

Then, when that flimsy T-shirt or dress inevitably falls apart or isn't en vogue anymore, it's cast away, never to be thought of again.

And what happens to that perfectly good iPhone you traded in for the 7? It may get recycled, or scrapped for parts, but if it doesn't, it's just more waste in a landfill for something you didn't even need.

Just because something is new doesn't necessarily make it better. The iPhone 7 won't make me more productive, more beautiful, more anything (besides poorer).

I'm going to take the money I might have spent on that for something that'll actually make me a better person -- some cooking classes, maybe, or a gym membership, or some books. That's time -- and money -- well spent. Investing in a phone that'll be obsolete in a year? I need to think different.

Investing in myself? Now that's something I can get behind.


Image via Apple


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