Phenomena: The Cost of Showing Off


It's no doubt that technology is always getting better. Every new generation of iPhone or Android flagship phone always carries fun and exciting features that the last iteration did not. With these features, the price on these devices always go up. With the announcement of the new iPhone X, which features face scanning technology, that price has hit a number that we've collectively been dreading ever since the first iPhone came out in 2007 with a price tag of $599. The iPhone X, which releases in November, has a price tag of $1000. Just to put that in perspective, a cheap, used automobile (if you know where to look) costs you about the same as the new iPhone. So what does this all mean? For many, it means that new phones are going to mean a lot more than just having a new phone. As phone prices skyrocket and wages stay the same in many parts of the country, it's going to mean that phones are now going to be joining automobiles, homes, and other choice electronics, as a new way of showing how much money you have. 

For a long time, cars and homes have been used as a way to flaunt how much money you have. When a brand new economy car runs around $20,000 - $30,000 nowadays, but luxury vehicles can run you upwards of $300,000 dollars, there is a point to be made, especially when said luxury car is actually a terrible car to own. A 2017 Rolls Royce Ghost sedan costs more than $300,000 dollars brand new, and it brings with it a 12-mpg avg in the city and a 19-mpg avg on a highway. That means that it consumes more gasoline than an SUV as a sedan. Add to that the absolutely ridiculous prices of repairs and parts that a car that expensive will have, and you're looking at a lifetime investment that is all for show. Who in their right mind would even drive around something that cost you that much money if you weren't just trying to show it off?

Houses are the same way. Everyone always asks themselves what they would do if they won the lottery. The question has run through everybody's mind. However, if you're happy in your small home or apartment, why is that always the first thing that everybody wants to change? More often than not, the first thing people want to buy with their money is a mansion with more rooms than they could ever possibly occupy. If not to make a statement about the amount of money they have, why do celebrities that live alone need mansions, and sometimes more than one? It is very clearly a statement about how much money they have. 

Nowadays, you can add cell phones to the list of things that people will buy just to show them off. Chances are you've seen older folks with smartphones that have a billion new features, but they don't even know how to save numbers on their phone. So why do they have them? The new iPhone X boasts about having a brand new facial recognition software but is it really even a new technology? Samsung's Galaxy S8 has had that feature ever since its launch, while also including an iris reader. So what are people really paying for? Are they paying for all these new features that they will most likely never use? I think what they are really paying for is the pleasure of telling their friends and co-workers that they just bought an iPhone X. The price of new iPhone isn't about its features, it's about the brand and what it means about how much money you posses.