Objectivius Shinium Syndromus. Shiny Object Syndrome.
Does the tiny scratch on the case really matter? Cover it with a sticker.
Does matching the latest memory and CPU specs really matter? Not for browsing, homework, and Facebook.
Does the extra 2.1 inches of diagonal high res display really matter? Not for watching YouTube and Netflix.
Does it really have to be shiny and new? Not if the focus is on real requirements and value instead of vanity. Vanity is like a tax.
Your kids will learn these truths if they live them.
The next time your child has a legitimate need for an electronic device, go the refurbished route:
- Find a reputable source. See if the desired manufacturer sells refurbished equipment directly (Apple does), or try a reCommerce site like Gazelle.com. Google around for reviews by others who have used the service.
- Check the inspection process, return policy, and warranty options. There’s always some risk with used equipment, so make sure there are solid assurances of quality and a reasonable return policy for defective devices.
- Cash in on your old device. At minimum, you can responsibly recycle your old device. At best, you can get paid for it. See if you can earn credit or cash for a device that meets reuse standards.
- Share the savings. To sweeten the initial bitterness, consider letting your child pocket a fraction of the difference between the refurbished item and a comparable new one.
Let your child learn firsthand that getting the job done doesn’t require the leading edge of technology. Most times, the slightly trailing edge is more than adequate. And a much better value.
Help your kids kick their obsession with latest shiny gadget, and they’ll be accumulating shiny coins in their bank accounts instead.
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