"New Device Desirable, Old Device Undesirable" (from the Technology and Progress chronicles)

The Onion reports on the market-definition of technological progress. Like the new technological breakthrough that fixed the problems of the previous breakthrough, this new device promises to make everything better.

Said one customer: "Its higher price indicates to me that it is superior, and that not everyone will be able to afford it, which only makes me want to possess it more"

More below the fold.

"New Device Desirable, Old Device Undesirable"

December 3, 2009 | Issue 45â¢49

SEATTLE--With the holiday shopping season officially under way, millions of consumers proceeded to their nearest commercial centers this week in hopes of acquiring the latest, and therefore most desirable, personal device.

"The new device is an improvement over the old device, making it more attractive for purchase by all Americans," said Thomas Wakefield, a spokesperson for the large conglomerate that manufactures the new device. "The old device is no longer sufficient. Consumers should no longer have any use or longing for the old device."

Added Wakefield, "The new device will retail for $395."

Able to remain operational for longer periods of time and occupy a demonstrably smaller three-dimensional space, the new device is so advanced when compared to the old device that it makes the old device appear much older than it actually is. However, the new device is reportedly not so radically different as to cause confusion or unwanted anxiety among those familiar with the feel of the old device.

"Its higher price indicates to me that it is superior, and that not everyone will be able to afford it, which only makes me want to possess it more," said Tim Sturges, owner of the old device, which he obtained 18 months ago when it was still the new device. "I feel a strong urge to purchase the new device. Owning the new device will please me and improve my daily life."

"It's difficult to remember how I ever found enjoyment in my old device," Sturges continued. "It is no longer appealing to the eye."

In addition to aesthetic and technological enhancements, manufacturers claim the new device comes equipped with a wide range of desirable features, including fewer buttons for pressing down and holding; a new wire for connecting to larger, less-portable devices; and fewer device-related errors and frustrations.

The new device will also be available in blue.

"Not only will I be able to perform tasks faster than before, but my new device will also inform those around me that I am a successful individual who is up on the latest trends," said Rebecca Hodge, whose executive job allowed her to line up for several hours in the middle of the day in order to obtain the previously unavailable item. "Its attractiveness and considerable value are, by extension, my attractiveness and considerable value."

Consumer Robert Larson agreed.

"I'm going to take my new device wherever I go," said Larson, holding the expensive item directly in the eyeline of several reporters. "That way no one on the street, inside the elevator, or at my place of business will ever mistake me for the sort of individual who does not own the new device."

Added Larson, "The new device brings me satisfaction."

Despite the visible excitement among most consumers, some claimed to be exercising caution, choosing instead to sit back and wait for a newer version of the new device to be released before making a purchase.

"True, it appeals to my most basic insecurities, but this new device will ultimately be replaced by a newer device, rendering it completely undesirable and utterly repellent to my personal tastes," device-enthusiast Ryan Janosch said. "Also, I should start saving my money for the next latest device, which will replace the newer new device a couple months after that."

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Our consumer desires makes buying things that do not really need. This is a serious psychological problem. It is understandable that after a long period of time. For example, after two years, technology is changing significantly. What was previously a very modern take on old ones. Newer, more practical things replace the old. But in 80% of our purchases we buy things to feel better or to improve our status in our society.

If we knew how to fight with our desire to buy a world crisis would be smaller. We should ask ourselves do we need to buy all those things.