In an article entitled Is it Convenient? Would I Enjoy it? Wrong Question, Mr Money Moustache writes:
Let’s suppose you want the latest iPad. You want it because it is convenient to be able to look at pictures and websites and books and play music around the house. Sure, you already have other computers that do those things, but the iPad is special because it lets you do them while holding it in one hand, sitting on the couch.
Wow, that couch is pretty convenient too, isn’t it? It is comfortable, enjoyable, convenient, and joyful to sit and lie on your couch. In fact, wouldn’t it be best to just lie on that couch all day? Forever? Yeah! Maybe you could even hook it up with a catheter and a bedpan, and a friend or robot could bring you all your food on the couch too. With each release, the latest iPad could be delivered to you, and you’d have the most convenient and comfortable and effort-free life ever.
[…] With proper understanding, almost any consumer purchase (and almost any bad habit) these days, beyond the necessities, should start to sound like a catheter and a bedpan to you.
This idea has really stuck with me, as a way to make sense of my recent choices.
Our life in the desert is not convenient at all. We use a bathroom and shower that are almost a minutes walk from the trailer. Our fridge is half a dozen paces outside our front door. We have no wifi down at the trailer. We spend very little and do a lot of what we can ourselves. And I love it.
All of which reminds me of a fantastic, novella-length David Foster Wallace essay, A Supposedly Fun Thing I’ll Never Do Again, about luxury cruising. Read it some time.