I’m 38 years old, that’s right, I grew up in the 1980’s where technology was starting to boom and the technology itself was bulky. I grew up between two households, my parents and my grandparents (mom’s side). We were the have-nots with my parents, we were poor in every sense of the word and my grandparents were (in my eyes) rich beyond belief but unbelievably frugal. I tell people that I essentially grew up on “both sides of the tracks” and learned to appreciate what I got and not covet things that I deemed unattainable. Fast-forward to today and boy! Did advertising and consumerism get the best of me!
I live in a nice suburb of Omaha with my wife and 4 kids. I was in the Air Force and I’ve spent 20 years here so far and I’ve accumulated a lot of crap. This past Christmas I reached a bit of an epiphany when I was deciding what to get myself for the holiday (my birthday is the 20th so it was to be a big gift for me). I wanted a new graphics card and the Valve Index (VR gaming rig)… this would have cost about 2-3k depending on the card I bought.
This year my wife and I decided to back off on the massive gifts we’ve given our children in years past, they want for nothing and have more than they need. This year we did the trendy, “Something to wear, something to read, something they want, and something they need”. Basically 4 gifts. Once we finished their shopping I kept thinking about this gaming setup I wanted… I found myself asking tough questions like; Why do I want it? What will it provide? Will I even get to use it since we’re always so busy with these kids? Despite many of these answers leading me away from the VR gaming stuff I found myself still wanting it for some reason. I logged in one day near Christmas to Valve’s website and found that it is out of stock and I’d have to wait for months to buy yet another “thing” I didn’t truly need.
It was like a sign delivered by the Internet gods. WAKE UP MARK!