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Discussions Discussion Wants or needs?
Michael H-USA, Oct. 6, 2013

Hi, my name is Michael and I am a high school student in Oakland, California.
My opinion is that the lust for new technology is most definitely want-based, but we justify our want for these new items through advertising them to others as a need, or to yourself as a “deserve”. I say this from experience and practice, but perhaps others can relate to and understand this as well when I provide the following examples.

You are a young child wanting a new present for your birthday. You see a new video game, or a different non-essential-to-your-continuing-existence object, and you tell your parents that this is what you want for your birthday. Your parents, seeing the price tag, tell you to pick out your favorite book instead. You, confused why your parents would deny the only thing you asked for for your birthday, decide to form a case to your parents to convince them that, no, this video game is not just what you want, it is what you need. Perhaps if you are young enough, one of the basic human ways to advertise this would be to break down in tears at the refusal, but either way, you change your attitude from a simple “I want” to a more complex “I need” to increase your chances of getting this new item. People are often more inclined to listen if it is something you need rather than something you want.

You are a college student who has just taken your last final for the semester. You have a job, but not too much money, and you are constantly in worry of your checks bouncing or your credit dropping. However, you are feeling really great that finals have ended, and you walk pass the campus Apple Store. You see the new iPod, and your mind’s neon sign immediately flashes “I want that”. Your mind then reminds you that you are a poor college student, who has no need for this new iPod, but then your id tries to convince your mind “yes I do”. It would help you study, allow your down time to be more down, and most importantly, that you deserve this, you’ve worked hard all semester for this and it is time to treat yourself. You splurge, and are happy, and try not to think about the end of the month.

While we may not all be able to relate to these fictitious situations, hopefully you can all see that, perhaps indefinitely, the “need” is actually the “want” in sheep’s clothing. Promoting something as a need will often land you the item while admitting it is desire will not. Honestly, there is not much we can do to change this natural human greed, or is there?

Michael H-USA
Comments (2)
  • Anna C-USA Anna C-USA Oct. 6, 2013
    I agree that many times the purchase of technology is a want, especially in wanting the newest video game or iPhone that has just been released. These purchases can definitely be associated with greed, however, I feel that in our society today, certain technologies can sometimes become a necessity.

    For example, I attend a school in which all of the students are required to purchase the same laptop and use it all 4 years. These laptops provide a place to take notes, a way to communicate with teachers and other students, and reduce our paper usage with the capability of completing and turning in assignments virtually. Without these laptops, our school would not be able to function properly as they are the center of all that we do in the classroom. In this situation, I feel that the purpose of technology is a necessity due to how essential the laptop is for day to day education. In addition, the laptops can reduce our carbon footprints through reducing the amount of paper we use each day.

    Another example to support this is the average businessman or woman. These people constantly have their smart phone on them, ready for the next call or email from a client or coworker. Even on vacation, these men and women are using their laptops or smart phones for the portable ability to connect with their business and complete work from miles away. Attached is an article that expresses the significance of technology in the workplace, including points about improving efficiency and communication. Because of the benefits of technology in the workplace, many working men and women use smart phones and laptops daily, making those without these devices easily fall behind and not be able to keep up. For this reason, technology is becoming a necessity to a certain point in society today. Though always having the newest iPhone or Mac is not need based, a smart phone and laptop are slowly becoming something essential to success in our world and workforce.
    http://smallbusiness.chron.com/importance-technology-workplace-10607.html
  • Lilli S-USA Lilli S-USA Oct. 7, 2013
    I keep seeing this point come up. I think when it comes to wants vs. needs concerning technology, balance is key! I would agree with Anna that in our day and age, certain technologies, such as our smart phones, laptops etc. are needed. Other things, in my opinion, such as video games, are not needed to survive in our society. And we always need to be smart when using technology. I think, we need to find time in the day to spend away from the glare of the screens that surround us 24/7. So, some technology is needed in our lives but not too much.

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Discussions Discussion Wants or needs?
Eva S-Slovenia, April 26, 2012

It’s true that people usually buy things from various manufacturers, but it’s often not their fault if you ask me. sometimes, the society forces people from different subcultures or status to buy things to fit in (example: in school you are considered uncool if you don’t own the latest cell or wear same clothes for two days in a row.) For that, and to avoid possible ‘humiliation’, we all adapt even in this time of recession.
This is just something that came to mind while reading others’ posts because personally, i don’t think it’s possible to choose between siding with anti-carbon society and the people you spend 70% of your time with.

Eva S-Slovenia
Comments (3)
  • Mariah Isaac Mariah Isaac April 26, 2012
    Heard dat
  • Dana Campbell Dana Campbell April 27, 2012
    I'm just going to throw this out there.. And be as nice as I can on this subject.. Wearing the same thing two days in a row is kind of.. Uhm.. Unclean? I mean yes you can wear the clothes again but not one day after the other.. Perhaps wear an outfit Monday, and then again on Wednesday?
  • Rebeka P-Slovenia Rebeka P-Slovenia April 27, 2012
    Ok. First of all wearing an outfit two days in a row is unclean but wearing the same outfit on monday and than wednesday isnt ? I have a logic answer to that, if you don't sweat a lot and your clothes are still clean and you shower everyday where's the problem ? I only think that's been put in our heads and it doesn't include hygene in it at all. I might not live where you live, but can you please explain to me how can you wear an outfit 2 days a week and don't think it's dirty but two days in a row is ? You statement makes me laugh. I'm sorry for saying it in a sarcastic way, but before commenting think of what you write. I totally agree with Eva though I wear 7 or more diffrent outfits a week but not because people might think I am filthy, because I don't really care what people think, but because I like to be dressed diffrenty than the previous days.

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