Stuff and Fluff by Richard A. Lanham raised alot of questions with me when I read it. One that stood out the most in my mind was…
Do I really need all this stuff?
So I looked around my room and thought of other stuff that I have and came up with this list that made me question whether or not I really needed it –
- iPhone (3rd in 6th months)
- Mini-fridge (even though I have a real fridge downstairs)
- Huge closet
- Huge Bed
- 2 computer screens at work along with a number of many other things that can be added to this list.
I thought very long and hard about this question and I thought to myself, well, I really don’t need these things to survive. Many people unfortunately do not have these luxuries. HOWEVER, in this day and age it is a complete necessity. Why? Why not! Unless you want to be a completely “irrelevant person” in today’s world you need to have these things. I’m not saying that in order to be successful you have to have stuff on stuff on stuff… but having a number of “miscellaneous objects” will make it more likely for one to get ahead in this competitive world.
I personally need to be informed and constantly updated on just about everything everyday — and I’d prefer it to happen quickly. I like to wake up in the morning, roll over grab my iPhone and check the hour by hour weather. Its a lot easier then turning on The Weather Channel and waiting or opening my computer, starting it, wait, type in the site, wait because the internet can be sooo slow sometimes. The point is, I don’t like to wait around on information that can be received 10x more quickly. Why sit around and waste time on something so minor when you have another object that can retrieve the information faster? Use your time wisely and focus it on a project that matters, you never know when you’ll need those extra 5 minutes.
I really liked this quote by Lanham, it stood out to me when I was reading and I thought it was perfect to describe the people of today…
Never before have so many people bought so many physical objects, so many varied consumer goods, or expressed their personalities so fully through them.
I agree, my “varied consumer goods” reflect my personality totally. How? Well, I decided to give reasoning as to why I need all my stuff, why it’s so crucial in today’s world, and how it reflects on my personality.
- MacBook — The World Wide Web, Word processing programs, my MacBook is my life in Silicon form. All my work, my social networks, my mail, my money, my photos, interests, everything. I think this is also true for everyone.
- iPhone — I have literally described my iPhone as my “soul” once. Conversations, pictures, emails, reminders, actually everything is on my iPhone. My iPhone is the equivalent of my computer just smaller and a lot more personal and I can call people! My iPhone helps me stay connected with almost everything. I can literally work from my iPhone and it saves so much time! Frequently when I’m out with friends and someone doesn’t know something, I just Google it. Voila! Problem solved. I’ve helped ease that itch to answer the question and I helped educate myself and some friends. I’ve lost my iPhone 3 times within a 6 month time span, I felt so incomplete. Everyday I think how its is so weird how far cellphones have come within the past 5-10 years. I remember my first cell phone was a Nokia and I thought Snake was the best game ever. Now I’m playing Words With Friends, with a friend who is 10 states away.
- iPod — My iPod is going through a weird phase right now. Think back to Toy Story 2 where Jesse sings “When Somebody Loved Me”. That’s kind of how I feel about my iPod now. So I guess this bullet point was actually unnecessary.
- TV — The news, history channel, science channel, music channel, foreign films, telemundo, style… etc. With my TV I can watch the presidential debates without leaving the comfort of my bed, flip the channel and learn some spanish, flip the channel again and learn something new on the history channel then site it and put the information in one of my papers. I use the TV a learning device not really for pleasure. I have my two shows that I’ve followed religiously but other than that I think the TV is a valuable learning device when used correctly.
- Mini-fridge — The mini-fridge just seems completely unnecessary. I will say that it might be one of the most unnecessary things that I own because it wastes electricity and I have a refrigerator thats about 20 steps away. But I enjoy the ease of having my favorite snack items right next to my desk when I’m doing homework. It saves me a total of 10 minutes a day. And I’m always pressed for time so 10 minutes is very valuable for me. Therefore, my mini-fridge is valuable too.
- Huge closet– I got this idea from Lanham because he talked about how we like everything big. I thought a big closet was one of those things that people see as being unnecessary. Some may call it a waste of space but I think it’s awesome. If you don’t have a huge closet, you’ll have less clothing options for work, having a poor dress can be detrimental in the work place sometimes. I like to look very presentable everyday, you never know who you’ll meet.
- Huge Bed — Another idea I got from Lanham’s “big idea”. I think its necessary for me to have one. I value my sleep and I like to be comfortable. I’m not comfortable in a twin bed. I don’t think having a big bed is something that greatly affects anyone’s life. Yes, I think it is a waste of money for most people. But if it’s the difference from me being grumpy in the morning or refreshed. I’d rather be refreshed. The bigger the bed the better.
- 2 computer screens at work — I actually wish I had three screens. This allows me to work faster and plan out my thoughts better. Its a lot easier than toggling back and forth between windows. My research will be up on one screen and the work will be on the other. It saves a lot of time.
Basically, I really enjoy all of the extra luxuries that we have in this world. Today’s world is so much different than it was 50, 30, even 10 years ago. The technologies that we have today may seem a little excessive but they are very useful. They are made to help ease everyday life. They are made to save time so you can you do something more productive and efficiently. I love technology and I love the variation of it that we have.