Mon | Sep 25, 2017

Kelly's World | Love my gadgets, just not their prices

Published:Monday | May 23, 2016 | 5:00 AM

I love gadgets.

Mind you, not as much as I love food, but I absolutely love all these little gizmos and thingamajigs (haven't used that word in forever), especially cell phones.

Unfortunately, my pocket does not present me with the financial latitude that is necessary to keep upgrading to the latest and most talked-about handsets whenever they come out. If I could, at every opportunity, my gadget game would be fresh with seven 'h' (royalties to Chi Ching Ching).

Take, for instance, the current standard-bearer of smartphones, the Samsung Galaxy S7 (no disrespect to the Huawei P9, the Note 5 or any other handset, the names of which the techies will reel off effortlessly). The S6 was a fine device, albeit with a few features people didn't like. Its successor has addressed some of those 'flaws' and so you've got a phone that's as close to perfect by current world standards. So you know that it costs an arm, leg and at least one kidney. Okay, for the people who 'have it' like that, 100 grand is easy money. For most of us, ahm, not so much.

Someone recently asked me when I was going to upgrade my phone. Truth is, I had been thinking about it even before they asked. But the dollars and cents (and sense) weren't all in one accord. I'm not saying I've never spent money a tad foolishly, and by foolishly I mean spending money in an area you might not have needed to. We all have done that at some point in life. We're human, it's what we do. So after taking a look at the asking price, weighing in some money that probably has to be spent later in the year, and some other factors, it just wasn't feasible. And that's okay, the handset I have right now works pretty well.

Now for every person like me, there's someone else who says 'to hell with it, I'm treating myself'. So they do, and having paid for it (whatever they've bought), they then end up 'paying for it' for a while. A friend of mine joked - you should never grudge someone driving around a new car, because for all you, they're eating cup soup every night because they can't afford food. I recall a dancehall song years ago about people buying BMWs and Mercedes but have no actual dwelling of their own, not even renting a room somewhere. Talk about getting your priorities slightly askew.

Stuff like cell phones and other gadgets really shouldn't be viewed as importantly to humans as, let's say, breathing, even if you have half-decent disposable income to buy the fancy ones. Smartphones fall and break and get stolen, just like 'regular' phones. And unless your pocket is deep, they are harder to replace. Sure, you should splurge when you can because, after all, you only live once. But you should try as much as possible to make sure splurging today doesn't mean Junior can't get his teeth fixed later.

But the biggest reason not to splurge? As yuh buy 'the latest one', yuh hear say it old! Later.

- Link me at daviot.kelly@gleanerjm.com