Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Trading Up

I just met with a former classmate and a really good friend and we had lunch. Over a sumptuous dish of rotisserie chicken, java rice and pasta, we talked about our college life and we dreamt of the things that we will buy come payday. We have both gone far from what we were during college—more expensive clothes, dining in restaurants rather than fastfood chains, and we ALWAYS had prepaid cellphone load. We’ve covered quite a distance, eh?

Then she asked me if I have access to this gadget. It was one of Apple iPod’s latest babies, and I swear, we wouldn’t afford it had we been in college still. However, we talked about it like it was easily acquirable, and true enough, its price didn’t daunt us anymore. After we dined at a nice pizza place, we went out for donuts at a posh place downtown.

Then we continued talking about the latest cell phones, the latest shoe designs, the latest sale, who dates the latest cutie, etc. It was all about updating, upgrading and trading up. (Whatever you call it.) This made me realize that approaching technology, and life in general, nowadays is like riding a roller coaster or a race car without putting your seatbelt on. It can truly carry you in its powerful current and you have to be really strong to resist it.

When we were still in college, we didn’t mind about what the latest gadget was or even what the newest facial treatment was. Today, as we journey the professional life, somehow we are pressured to always step up, as if we are proving ourselves to ANOTHER imaginary boss, whom we need to impress all the time.

Then I realized that this culture wasn’t just with us. This culture was also common to a lot of newly graduated young adults, and reunions were more than just “simple get togethers”, it is an ego parade, and a catching up on who raises his/ her eyebrow the highest. Perhaps this is partly because of man’s cannot-be-contented character, plus the shock that we get from earning money which we can spend entirely to ourselves. This money shock is pretty alarming, because a lot of young people are not even capable of proper financial management. We can still be lured by the shiny things..even if we don’t need them.

Today, we are already upgraded versions of ourselves. And no matter how much I loathe the “always upgrading” lifestyle, I guess that there is still a good side in trading up. Along the way, we cannot deny that we eventually pick up lessons (especially about money) from here and there, and we will end up, well, traded up. Advanced. Upgraded.
Tell me what you think---live_out_loud@ymail.com.


Anonymous said...

"reunions were more than just “simple get togethers”, it is an ego parade, and a catching up on who raises his/ her eyebrow the highest"

LOL at this one. haha. but so true! :))

pamela said...

super love this post!
very very very true!