iPhones: Buying Them and Our Feelings

iphone-5c-all-colorsI recently upgraded my cell phone from the iPhone 4s to the iPhone 5c. My mom sent me a text one morning saying, “Hey Eric. You have a phone upgrade. You’re getting the iPhone 5c and I’m going to take your old iPhone.”

Speak not another word, Mom! I’m in. Let’s do it.

Leading up to the release of the iPhone 5c and its big brother, the 5s, I always had in mind I would go with the flashier, more expensive option (the 5s). When my mom told me I would be getting the 5c without having to pay a dime and that if I wanted the 5s I would have to pay the extra $100, my mind definitely became open to the 5c.

I have really enjoyed my iPhone 5c so far. When you take a deeper look at the specs of the iPhone 5c, it is (internally) the same phone as its predecessor, the iPhone 5. Its just cosmetically different. (I went with the blue one!) Essentially, the only upgrade the 5s is to the 5c is a faster processor, a better camera and the fingerprint security technology.

All of that for an extra $100? When the iPhone 5c is already a nice upgrade from my 4s? No thanks.

When you look at the facts of the 5c versus the 5s, I don’t think the 5s is worth the investment due to its lack of innovation.

However, the iPhone 5c seems to have a stigma around it as being a phone not worth spending less on. I’ve heard people say the 5c is “cheap” because the backing is made out of plastic and that the phone seems “cheap” because it costs only $99. Clearly, buying the more expensive iPhone 5s (and solely with it being an Apple product, in my opinion) gives consumers an elitist feeling over other individuals and their cell phone choices. (I know this isn’t true for everyone who buys the iPhone 5s, but it has to be for some people, right?)

Why is this? Why does “status” and our feelings associated with the products we desire affect our buying decisions? If you let your feelings go and look at the raw specs of what you’re getting with your money for a new iPhone, I think you’ll see its a no brainer the 5c is the phone you should go with. Just food for thought.

Oh, and if the colors of the 5c “aren’t your thing,” remind me what your previous iPhone looked like underneath the case that’s been blanketing it the past two years ….

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Why I Deleted the Facebook App from My Phone

No Facebook!

No Facebook!

About a month ago, I decided I was done having Facebook on my phone. I held down my finger on the light blue square with the little white f in the middle until it started wiggling, clicked the little x, then delete and sighed a relief.

I deleted the Facebook app because I realized I didn’t need it anymore.

I’ll admit I was apprehensive when I first deleted Facebook from my phone. That’s what technology has done to my generation; any thought of being separated from it causes some sort of anxiety. Facebook – and all of social media – has become a part of our individual identities. How we look and interact on social media matters just as much as how we appear in real life.

Since the summer of 2012, I have gradually been realizing how much technology – namely my cell phone – consumes my life. I spent a month that summer working at a camp where I fasted from technology. I didn’t check social media once. My phone was on airplane mode almost 24 hours a day and I’ll tell you what: I never felt more alive in my entire life.

Then a few weeks ago, I read a blog post written by a design partner for Google Ventures about how he made his iPhone “distraction-free.” He deleted every app from his phone that had a stream: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, you name it. He even disabled Safari and deleted all of his email accounts. It was inspiring to hear of his experience (you should give it a read), but I just couldn’t go through with depleting my cell phone to that extent. However, I was motivated to get rid of Facebook. It just finally made sense.

Before I went through with deleting Facebook, I reflected and realized I only ever checked Facebook when I was bored and/or in a trance of checking every app on my phone for notifications (something that can suck 15 minutes out of your life quite easily; you know you’ve been there).

I realized the Facebook app was sucking more out of my life than giving. It’s been a month without Facebook on my phone and I have no regrets. (I did decide to download the Facebook Messenger app because, hey, that’s basically texting.)

Since I got rid of the Facebook app, I have found – with some effort – I now check my phone less. The impulse to habitually and aimlessly scan my phone for text messages and other notifications has decreased and I don’t feel as consumed by my phone. It’s awesome and I feel less distracted. (Plus, checking Facebook on my computer is now a lot more exciting.)

It’s allowed me to look up more and down at my phone less. Walking to class can actually be peaceful and enjoyable with your phone in your pocket. I still enjoy checking Facebook on my computer and using my phone and its endless capabilities, but I don’t feel as chained by it anymore. I feel freer. So, I challenge you to delete Facebook from your phone, take your phone out of your pocket a little less and see what happens.