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With and without stuff

An extended weekend, an unending bout of common cold, and a broken down Internet connection meant I was alienated from the virtual world. Just as well, I guess. Interesting thing is, the aftermath of such alienation surprisingly wasn't at all bad. Sure the inbox overflowed, but not as much as I thought. Sure I missed the odd news story online, but again not much was missed. The best payoff to being disconnected was my realisation that the virtual world isn't that much of a daily necessity. Agreed it has its benefits, but not something I can't stay away from for a while. In fact I got my eyes some rest from staring at a screen, did some paper-book reading which was fantastic, and engaged in other home stuff that was downright refreshing.

Now I am not so sure if such 'bouts of alienation' is good news to marketers. They would prefer us glued to screens and other such stuff. For products and services to sell, consumers must believe their lives will be worse off without the gizmos. The marketer on his part thrives on telling us we can't do without the stuff he peddles. Maybe we can't. And so we buy, and keep buying. We're petrified of what could happen to our lives if we didn't have the latest 'box on the block'. In a way I sure am glad when consumer solutions get better and fly off shelves. For that means the wheels of commerce will turn, and keep at it.

But the bouts of alienation will also do us good. It will help us know life's more than just gadgets, whilst building in us an appreciation for those very same gadgets that make our lives easier to live.


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