Tuesday, May 8, 2007

Commentary: Why We Buy Stuff

I’ve been using the same 6-MP SLR for a few years now and, while I wasn’t tempted by the 8-megapixel models that replaced it (not enough difference, in my opinion), I am now starting to look at the newest 10 to 12-MP models. All this looking around and tire-kicking has prompted me to consider why anybody buys anything. Why do we buy stuff? Is it always driven by actual need? (Obvious answer: No.) Or is it more than that? (Likewise obvious answer: Yes.) Like any type of human behavior, it is always a complex situation and answer. (I bet you didn’t see that coming. Oh, boy.)

Okay, this is the way I see it. Here are the main reasons we buy anything, whether we’re talking about a car, a stereo, computer, musical instrument, or camera:

1. It gets the job done and that’s it.

2. It makes it easier to do the job.

3. It does a better job than other tools.

4. It creates an enjoyable experience in and of itself.

5. It makes me feel better about myself or increases my prestige.

For myself, getting a new camera is probably a mix of reasons 2 and 3, with a tiny little bit of 5 thrown in. Honestly, shooting with a 6-MP SLR sometimes makes me feel a bit out of the loop, although I can’t really complain about the results I get. Well, I’m trying to deal with these feelings. I’ll let you all know how this all turns out. Cheers.

Hermon Joyner

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