We’re addicted to new.
Last Thursday, Apple released another iPhone. It’s not the newest iPhone in terms of technology; it’s only new in terms of color. Though many Apple users already have the black iPhone 4, they still went out and dropped another $299 to get the same phone in a different color simply because it’s new.
We’re constantly buying new cell phones, new computers, new everything. But as soon as we subscribe to something new, something newer is always announced. This trained way of thinking is a set up for dissatisfaction. We are eternal consumers. We seek the latest – and not just in the area of technology. On the chorus of his 2002 song Newness, Musiq Soulchild explains, “Everything is cool / when love is all brand new / Cause you’re learning me and I’m learning you (it’s cool) / Cause you’re learning me and I’m learning you.”
We dispose of people like we dispose of irrelevant gadgets. We dump our latest iPhone for the newer Blackberry, and we’ll dump our latest girlfriend for the most recent, state-of-the-art, and cutting-edge lady on the block. The idea of newness is what makes men cheat. It’s not about how good your current something is – but it’s about how much better the newer version may make you feel for the moment. The problem with this mindset is that there is no fulfillment. When you attempt to fill your hands with water, you’ll find yourself constantly returning to the source of the water because it’s impossible to seal your fingers tight enough to hold the fluid. This perpetual lack of fulfillment leads to a constant desire to refill. You’ll never be happy; you’ll never be satisfied; you’ll never be full.
Just because a retailer is sold out doesn’t mean you should give pieces of your soul out in order to retrieve what you think you need. Souls filled with holes will never fill up. The basis of contentment should never rely on an expiration date. It’s okay to upgrade but learn to be satisfied whether you modernize or not. I recently picked up an iPad 2, not necessarily because I was in urgent need of one (I already own an iPod, iPhone & MacBook Pro), but because of a combination of convenience and how I imagined the device would make me feel. I hear Apple is coming out with a newer iPad between 4th quarter to early 2012. I’m still satisfied.
– Enitan Bereola, II
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Bereola is the go-to style and etiquette impresario, public speaker and entrepreneur. He is also the author of the critically acclaimed BEREOLAESQUE: The Contemporary Gentleman & Etiquette book for the Urban Sophisticate. He is working on his follow-up, Guide to Ladies’ Etiquette from a Gentleman’s Perspective. Find him at his new website bereolaesque-online.com, or @bereolaesque on Twitter as well as his Facebook fan page.