The Point at Which I Stop Being the Perfect Consumer

You know, I’m as gaa-gaa over tech as the next geeky, overfed American nerd, but at a certain point fiscal restraint kicks in and temps down my need for the next new hot thing. Thus is my ardor for the iPhone suddenly cooled when it’s revealed that the low-end phone plan for the thing is $60 a month. Add that to the $500 minimum cost of the phone, resulting in a minimum $1,200 cost for the gadget in the first year, and I’m all, eh, I can wait. My current cell phone cost me $40, and I piggyback on my mother-in-law’s service plan for $10 a month. That’s about right for me.

I know, I know. Since when should I let practical issues get in my way? Anyone who’s getting a first-gen iPhone is signing up to be a guinea pig anyway; practicality shouldn’t enter into it. Fair enough, and I wasn’t exactly camping out to get one anyway. But I feel the same way I did when the first iPod came out, actually. When it happened I watched all the cool kids stab each other in the eye to get to it, and meanwhile I, who had had a CD-player-sized Creative 5GB Jukebox for over a year at that point and had paid substantially less to get it than what the first-gen iPod went for, thought it would probably be best just to sit out the fracas for a while with my perfectly serviceable, pre-existing alternative.

I guess what it comes down to is that at then end of the day, I don’t care to be one of the cool kids if it just costs too much to do it. I’d chalk it up to rapidly-approaching middle age, but I’ve always been like this. Of course, there’s a simpler way to put it: I’m cheap.

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