Avoiding The Apple Advernouncement

In less than a week, the iPhone will be 15 years old. Apple is set to announce the iPhones 14 on the 7th. In anticipation, I pre-drafted an intro for an editorial that I was planning to publish after the event. But something changed. Instead of looking forward to the latest and greatest from Apple, I now plan to avoid the annual iPhone announcement entirely.

The obvious questions are, “So what changed?” and, “Why?”

iHobby

First, this is not a publicity stunt. I’m not revealing a switch from “pro-Apple” to “anti-Apple.” This is also not a “humble brag.” I’m working through a process of change, rethinking things. Writing/blogging about it is part of that process.

I’m kind of an Apple fanboy I guess, having closely followed the company’s innovations over many years. I’ve always had a thing for technology, computers, and gadgets. And while my focus fluctuated between Apple, Google, Microsoft, and others over time, Apple has often been my greatest interest.

I still like Apple a lot, but I’m trying to not love it anymore.

I think mine was a bit of an unhealthy obsession. As a fan and follower, I subscribed to all the tech and Apple podcasts, blogs, and websites my brain could consume. I’ve had a constant feed of this stuff for a long time. And while I’ve occasionally been overwhelmed by the input overload, this time I’m more aware of how distracted I am by it all. Also, it’s not like I’m a professional in this; I don’t get paid to blog about Apple or any other stuff.

Consuming Apple and tech-related info consumed me.

As a hyper-consumer of sorts, I was being consumed. It’s like being possessed by your possessions. To be fair, it wasn’t just Apple. I was checking my phone for new things throughout the day: new emails, new sales, new articles, new posts, new podcasts, new info related to any of my leisurely pursuits. So I’ve also momentarily stepped back from my various competing hobbies as I lack enough time to pursue them all.

This all led me to refocus on my general focus in life. What am I doing with my time? What am I ultimately pursuing? Apple, smartphones, cameras, photography, Pokémon, video games, books, movies, all the fun and cool things; I still like them all. And I still value recreation and entertainment. But my time — not to mention money — and my space are limited. Besides all this, I have a big family, a full-time career, and a need to exercise: responsibilities.

From a practical standpoint, something’s got to give.

Simple Change

Pausing my pursuits and taking time to reprioritize things, one tool I’ve turned to is Minimalism. Related to this, I’ve been exploring the topics of: anti-consumerism, contentment, and simplicity. Unpacking all that is for a potential future series of blog posts. I’m not saying Jason Journals will change from being about “Computing, gaming, and more” to “Simple living and less,” but something similar is possible I guess.

All this might seem like a big change; maybe it is. At the least, I’m stepping back from being saturated in Apple news. You know how some people will avoid the internet when a new movie debuts for fear of spoilers? I’m like that, avoiding tech news for the next few weeks so I can unplug my psyche from the Apple advertising machine. This might also be akin to those that need a break from social media.

At the risk of a bit of cynicism — but also sober realization — the hour-or-so announcement scheduled for next week is like a long Apple infomercial or advernouncement (advertisement+announcement), partly designed to cause people to want the newest iPhone even if they don’t need it. It used to be equated with Steve Jobs’ “Reality Distortion Field.”

If I watch the iPhone 14 show, I’ll probably become discontent with my current iPhone that works perfectly fine. I want to not want a new gadget. Wanting stuff isn’t so bad; it’s covetousness or greed that I wish to avoid.

Let me spoil things by pre-announcing the next iPhone: just like the iPhone 13 and others before it, the iPhone 14 will be great. But you probably don’t need it. While great, we’re talking about the iPhone that’s been around for 15 years now; it’s not really new. Also, Apple still sells “old” iPhones as brand new on its website because — guess what — they’re still great. They’re iPhones after all. But again, your current smartphone is probably good enough if not great.

This is an interesting turn of events for me, avoiding one of the biggest Apple events of the year. I feel like I need to do this. I must step back and rethink things. At the very least, doing so gives me plenty to blog about. Among all my interests and pursuits, blogging is still a big one I’ll make time for.

Are you looking forward to the iPhone 14 event next week? Could you care less? What do you think of Minimalism?


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6 thoughts on “Avoiding The Apple Advernouncement

  1. Much respect to you for taking a step back! I’ve noticed you have an affinity for Apple 😀 … They’re not a company I’m fond of, but I’ve had similar experiences in other areas of life, where I got very wrapped up in something and needed to downscale my involvement. So that’s very relatable, and minimalism (including digital minimalism) is something I’ve been curious about for a while. I’m a collector by nature, but I feel pretty much every area of life can be improved, and many social strides made, if we were all more moderate in things. Minimalism can be a worthy end goal for many, or for people like me, a tool to balance out maximalism and (hopefully) reach a happy “center.”

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Good to hear from you, Marian. Thanks for being transparent. Always good to know one is not alone in something.

      Funny thing about digital minimalism: I’ve literally read the book on it (by Cal Newport), yet I fail to practice it to the fullest.

      https://jasonjournals.com/2019/02/10/digital-minimalism-review/

      I like your point about moderation. Like you said, a good balance or “middle ground” between minimalism and maximalism (two “extreme” ends of a consumerism spectrum perhaps). Call it moderationism I guess.

      Hopefully I won’t go on an Apple boycott or tech “fast” and then relapse and go overboard – full pendulum swing. It’s not like I’m tossing out my iDevices of course; they’re still great. But I want to use them as valuable tools without letting them become my idols.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Great post, as always, Jason. This is something I struggle with as well. I *love* tech and gadgets and get very excited when new stuff comes out. And then every time I ask myself “do I really need this?” And, of course, the answer is “no”.

    I also find, as you mention here, that other areas of my life are similar: I get so wrapped up in some things that I let other things go. It’s great to have strong interests, but for me, they can become a bit too “all-consuming.”

    I just spent a week in a small town on the coast. The only things to do were walk the beach and read. I rediscovered so many things I’ve been wanting to read, and it was great. A good reminder to reassess what I’m spending time on, and getting back to other things (like, say, blogging!).

    Thanks for an inspirational post!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. A walk on the beach sounds relaxing and healing for the mind. Cal Newport, in his book Digital Minimalism, says much good about walking for solitude. And his prescribed Digital Declutter calls for time and space away from digital input in order to clear the mind, settle it with clarity, focusing on your true passions that are easily and often drowned out by the digital clutter – apps, podcasts, sites, news, etc – the “content” that crowds the mind. We’re drawn to it like ants to sugar.

      These struggles are common to many; they correspond to the ubiquity and capabilities of smartphones (and social media). Hint: I’ve got a blog post drafted about this too 🙂

      Today, I noticed I got Mark Gurman’s latest “Power On” email newsletter about iPhone 14. After like 60 seconds of temptation and internal debate, I deleted the email without reading it and unsubscribed from the newsletter. It was like ripping off a bandaid, but so far my life hasn’t ended.

      Thanks for reading, and I’m glad – fortunate even – that something I said can help someone else in some way. It’s a blessing.

      Liked by 1 person

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