Am I the only one?


Am I the only one who feels a bit uncomfortable at the unveiling of Apple’s new $1000 phone?

I know it’s a computer and a camera and a tool for all sorts of things.

I know cell phones were used to help rescue people in desperate need in Houston as Harvey drowned the city.

But just as it feels weird to see a goofy, irrerevent airline ad the day after the tragedy of a plane crash, it just felt uncomfortable seeing everyone salivating like Pavlov’s dogs as Tim Cook did his Steve Jobs impression.

Because our TV screens are filled with heart-rending images and stories of people who have lost everything, including for at least 8 families, their parents.

The juxtaposition of the world’s most expensive telephone and the images of rubble and desperate need was too stark for me.

No one needs this new phone.

If everyone who is pre-ordering one, who will stand in line overnight to be the first on their block to own one, were to send that $1000 where it might actually save someone’s life, in Bangladesh or India or Nepal, or Yemen or Syria or those starving in Africa right now, as you read this, wouldn’t that be a better thing?

Again, there’s not one person anywhere in our world who needs this specific phone.

Our old phones work just fine.

I don’t mean to sound holier-than-thou. That’s not my intent.

My intent is to trigger real, thoughtful introspection about our current behavior because life is moving so fast for most of us that I’m not sure we’ve actually thought this through.

We seem to be in thrall to consumerism, to naked greed and envy. Like addicts, we need our fix of new “things” to feel good, to feel better — as if things could ever fill that insecurity.

Maybe your listeners would respond if you raised the question.

Wouldn’t that be a good thing?