Will iPhone 6 Buy You Happiness?

By on September 9, 2014

The day is here! September 9th… the day that Apple is holding it’s next launch event.

The new iPhone 6 is expected to be revealed to the world, and millions of people are anxiously awaiting the event to start, and to be shown what new products the tech giant will have for sale in the coming days and weeks.

No doubt many will buy the new iPhone, and experience some happiness while buying, waiting for, and testing out the new gadget.

But such happiness is often short lived, and fast forward a few months it is easy to get lost in the hunt for the new “shiny thing”, and be unhappy with the then “old and outdated” iPhone 6.

In a new article by Nancy Thompson at The Interdependence Project, Nancy discusses this in further detail and references a study which “found that people get more enduring happiness when they spend money on experiences than on acquiring things.”

“That extends to waiting in line for those things.”, she adds.

She goes on to say:

“People tended to be more competitive about purchases, and a comparison of news reports about people waiting in line found that long waits for material purchases were more likely to end in violence, researchers said.

One of the study’s authors, Amit Kumar, a doctoral student at Cornell University, speculates that experiences give people the opportunity to bond and socialize. Even when if you aren’t guaranteed a ticket to a concert or a taco from the cool new food truck, people often enjoy waiting in line. “While waiting for concert tickets, people reported singing songs together, or people would be playing games with each other while they’re waiting,” he says.

Waiting for the experience became part of the experience, not something that was preventing acquisition of The Thing That Would Give Us All the Happiness. Or a way to make money — people are already lined up outside the Apple store in Manhattan, anticipating that Apple will announce the release of the iPhone6 on Tuesday, and they’ve got corporate sponsors.

Expecting things to make us happy only leads to disappointment, which leads to wanting new things. That desire for something to improve the present moment is what creates stress and dissatisfaction, aka unhappiness, the Buddha said.”

So, while getting your hands on the new iPhone 6 (or another product you crave) won’t buy you very long lived happiness – staying in line, or attending the launch event with someone, will have a longer lasting happiness impact on you.

Read the full article for more in depth information on the study and Nancy’s observations.

What will help you achieve the longest lasting happiness however, is meditation and in extension mindfulness. Or rather, contentment with the present moment, with “less stress and dissatisfaction, aka unhappiness”.

Let’s end this article with two great quotes. Wish you a happy Apple event (if you are into these things), and a great day however you choose to spend it!

“It is preoccupation with possessions, more than anything else, that prevents us from living freely and nobly.”
– Bertrand Russell

“If you own more than seven things, the things will own you.”
– Indian saying

Did you like and agree with this article, or are you of a different opinion? Comment below, and please share!

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