Sometimes you just have to let them learn the hard way.

We have the technology...

We have the technology…

Last year my son had an opportunity to upgrade his phone. I tried to tell him, as I always do, to stay away from Apple. You think owning something with a partially consumed piece of fruit on it will give you an instant status boost, and it may, but do you really want the ghost of Steve Jobs in your pocket telling you what you can and cannot do with a device that you paid for?

The boy went and got himself an iPhone, and he has learned regret. Would that the lesson was well-learned, that he could forever more go forth making wise tech decisions for himself, that he might heed his mother’s voice e’en as his money burns holes right through his very pockets!

The boy rarely asks for much. He’s generally got a good head on his shoulders, and he worked hard this summer. His dad told him that if he wanted to upgrade his gaming system, then he should do so. He came seeking my advice.

I told him to look carefully at the two major consoles and see which might better suit his needs and wants. I told him to remember that whether he chose Xbox One or Playstation 4, he would need to make an additional investment above and beyond the price of a console in the form of games at $60 a pop. I also reminded him that should he choose an Xbox he should expect to shell out the yearly tithe otherwise known as a Gold Membership.

I asked him to consider the possibility of building himself a nice little gaming system and expanding his Steam collection instead. (Humble Bundle, anyone?)  I promised to help him with the build. I told him that it would be a good experience for him, that he would know his machine inside and out, that he could upgrade it one component at a time should he choose to do so, that he would rarely find himself in a position in which he had to shell out for a whole new system, not to mention a whole new library of games. He thought about it for all of maybe 20 minutes (and that’s me being generous).

Alas, his friends are all Xbox loyalists, and he has chosen to follow the crowd. Oh, poor misguided lad! Thou wanderest off into the wilderness of technological regret once more, and there is nought I can do to stop thee. I shall wait for thee to return with thine head hung low from shame. I shall gather thee into mine arms, lift thy chin, and speak gently these words unto thee:

Dude. I told you so.


15 thoughts on “Sometimes you just have to let them learn the hard way.

  1. My brother is an Apple fanatic and refuses to admit defeat — even when his iPad only gives him the rainbow pinwheel of death and I’m happily clicking away on whatever not-Apple product I have. 🙂 And “Dude, I told you so” are going to be my words to him if/when he finally accepts that there are greater things in life than Apples.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I’m with you on the Apple thing. Android all the way 🙂 I refuse to install Apple bloatware on my laptop just to transfer a couple of songs.
    I did buy a PS4, though. I was going to buy an XBox One (being an XBox 360 owner) but they made such a mess of the pre-launch I changed my mind.


    • Some years ago I bought a PS3 when it first came out. I was very happy with it in terms of the quality of the hardware, but they made it extremely difficult for anyone to code games for the damn thing. Long story short, I ended up with an Xbox 360 because they had such an extensive library, but I really should have listened to my gut and built a PC gaming system (my husband and son really wanted a console).

      And, yes, I still have that PS3, but it needs to be repaired.


  3. My son is just as misguided as yours – he wants an iphone in the worst way (but it won’t happen any time soon because he can’t even handle the responsibility of doing his household chores. Awwwww.) I refuse to be sucked in by Apple. I don’t want to be imprisoned by iTunes. (Seriously, my years of Amazon downloads will only play on my son’s ipod with the Amazon Cloud app…. it’s all confusing to me.) I have a Motorola Moto X (Droid) phone and I love it (loved the Razr I had before, too.)

    Glad to meet someone else on this planet who isn’t so enamored with Apple. It’s sucked in my parents and my best friend 🙂


    • I’ve never been an Apple fan.

      My first job in the computer industry was as a repair tech in an Apple shop. I’m not saying that Apple doesn’t make a good machine; I’m just saying that they like to keep a tight reign on what you, the consumer, can and cannot do after you buy their equipment. (e.g., Oh, you wanna play a flash file? Too bad, so sad.) Apple is more concerned with their image than your freedom. ( I know it sounds melodramatic, but there it is.)

      Even when I worked on Macs I owned a PC. With a PC I had the freedom to shop around. I could build my own machine. I could configure it according to my own needs. If, however, I owned a Mac and I needed a new hard drive, the only thing I could do was take it to a Mac repair shop. I would pay a lot more for that hard drive than I would if I was buying for a PC, and I had no choices in terms of manufacturer of said hard drive.

      Call me crazy, but I *like* having choices. I’m a DIY kind of girl. I like fixing my own stuff, from washing machines to laptops.

      That whole WYSIWYG thing, though? That was genius. Not that it makes much never mind these days…


Lay it on me.

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