Monday, May 2, 2011

Has Tech Made Us Spend More?

The Philippines is getting more and more inclined to technology as the years go by. Gone are the days of typewriters, CRT monitors and CD players, as we wave hello to Stevie’s wonders and all that competes against his masterpieces. Our spending power has increased tremendously for and through technology, up to the point that we purchase items we do not really need.

Do you remember how long it took before Apple’s first generation iPad reached the Philippine shores officially? Almost, if not, nine long months. But that was last year.

Just a few days ago, the excitement of owning a brand new iPad 2 has finally been fired out with its official launch in our country. If you can recall, we were not actually part of the 25 or so countries that should have received the said gadget when it was announced in March 2011.

This clearly shows that there is a huge demand from Filipinos, and that Apple, instead of wasting their supposed profits to gray market vendors, chose to launch their much coveted product in our country. It actually seems good that the product’s launching in the Philippines goes hand in hand with the launching in Hong Kong and Singapore. We can therefore assume that the Philippines’ economy has grown up so much that we can now easily afford an iPad.

In the case of mobile phones, almost every Filipino – rich or poor – owns one at this time. Even young kids nowadays already beg their parents to give them an electronic device. There’s something about owning a gadget that makes people feel happier and esteemed – ‘happy’ in the sense that there’s a tool to use for communicating with family and friends, and ‘esteemed’ in a way that they have an “asset” to call their own.

Aside from tablets, laptops and mobile phones, another area where we Filipinos spend our hard-earned money on is in group-buying websites. With more than 10 deal sites (e.g. CashCashPinoy, Ensogo, Deal Grocer and Buyanihan) in the market today, hot offers like accommodations, spa, and electronic gadgets easily get sold out. Through these websites, we consumers tend to buy vouchers even if we do not really have initial plans of spending for them.

To add to those online purchases, the Internet also offers tons of e-books, games, songs, and applications that we use to fill in our electronic devices. One purchase begets another purchase. Besides, what is a gadget for if without any contents inside, right?

Truly, technology has pushed us to use and purchase beyond what we actually need. The word “sale” is all around the Internet today. Whether it is seen in e-commerce websites or accidental tags in Facebook or Twitter, we can say that the Filipinos have fallen in love with technology and the ways that go about it. Let’s remember, though, to go back to the basics and analyze our purchases in order to appropriately determine our needs versus our wants.

This article is my fourteenth contribution to Manila Bulletin -- one of Philippines' leading broadsheets -- published on May 02, 2011 (Monday) in the TechNews Section. You can view the PDF version here.

Photo Source: DedicationGroup


guilty as charged! i heard they forever stopped making typewriters too!

Haynako, so true! I didn't realize how much I was spending on Kindle eBooks until I computed them. :( I think it just sent me to the poorhouse but I didn't feel it because I was using my credit card online.

guilty as charged! i heard they forever stopped making typewriters too!

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