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.