The Forbidden Fruit

>While waiting around the AT&T store to see if they could fix the speaker on Edith’s phone, and after looking at all the different phones…twice, and after checking my e-mails on my blackberry and tweeting, I had nothing left to do, except to observe the two customers that were being helped ahead of me.

To my right was a father, purchasing the iPhone4 ($400. w/ 2yr service agreement + $30. for data plan + $30. for unlimited text + minutes) for his college freshman daugther. The saleswoman asked if he (the dad) wanted to add unlimited text for the entire family, for an additional $30 a month. Surprisingly, he said, “No thanks, I don’t use text. Just add the unlimited for my daughter.”

To my left was a mother, also purchasing the new iPhone4 for her young son. When it came to the salesman adding the $30. data plan, the mom commented, “that’s the fifth iPhone on our plan.” She also proceeded to purchase a screen cover and the iPhone protection plan for $60, as she commented, “we definitely need the protection plan because I lost count of how many phones my son has lost or broken.”

Is this what society has come to? Are raising spoiled little brats? Now, of course I have no idea about each of these two families specific situations. Maybe this girl just graduated highschool with straight A’s, a 4.0+ GPA, AP classes, 1200 on her SATs, college scholarship saving the parents $150 grand to go to USC. Or maybe the young man to my left just beat some really awful illness or disease or is terminally ill and it is his dying wish to experience the wonders of an iPhone, before he dies. I think it is fair to make a few assumptions about not only them, but society in general as we can look around and see many young children with these cellphones, iphones, ipads, ipods, gameboys.

Just to be clear, I am not picking on Apple or Apple’s products. They are fine products and I am a capitalist that does not mind Apple making lots of money off of us. I also think it is ironic, as our pastor said, that people lined up to get their iPhones the day it was released, in front of a store, named after “God’s forbidden fruit.”

What exactly are we teaching our children, the future leaders of our country, when we buy these toys for them. What about teaching them to work hard and save up for things they want to buy? What about teaching them to prioritize what’s important? Perhaps saving up and paying for a car that they will need to get to and from their first job. Perhaps getting a much cheaper phone and starting a ROTH IRA for their retirement future. Perhaps applying that monthly iPhone bill toward all that college student loan debt.

Or here’s a crazy idea…how about teaching your children how to say, “NO,” and a very important lesson in the business world…dealing with rejection.

Nah, lets just cater to our children’s every want and desire. After all, we will need them to take care of us when we get old and don’t want them putting us in a home.

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