To buy or not to buy. That is the question.

Hamlet’s infamous indecisiveness likely resonates with shoppers everywhere this post-holiday season, when the deals are still good and the mall continues to beckon with a strange, effervescent glow. We’ve all seen the signs: “Boxing Day extended by two weeks!” “Hurry in! Sales won’t last long!” And in spite of our continuous self-rationalization that these ads are just marketing ploys, we still find ourselves rushing into the nearest Best Buy or Walmart, determined to capitalize on whatever extraordinary deal is being offered.

Even though video games/computer games/all things technology are a definite hobby of mine, I always feel an instant wave of guilt when I buy something shiny and new from the electronics store. Maybe it’s the fact that I can never quite justify buying an updated piece of technology until its predecessor breaks. Maybe it’s the fact that these gadgets tend to be quite costly. After a particularly offensive splurge, I always find myself thinking about the things I *could* have spent my money on, such as a new winter jacket, the set of tires I desperately need for my car, or even a jumbo pack of paper towels. Everyone needs paper towels, especially accident-prone graduate students whose work space is often so obliterated by kitchen mess that I can scarcely find the stack of papers I was working on.

Nonetheless, after purchasing a new iPod Touch yesterday afternoon, not even the threat of a dissertation deadline could keep me from spending an hour or two fiddling with the new features, transferring over my music, and testing out the sound with a few different pairs of headphones. In place of guilt, I actually felt satisfied that I was taking time out to enjoy my new purchase. I even felt satisfied that I had spent the money on a new gadget which wasn’t necessarily cheap, nor was it something I had initially planned to buy.

To support the Hylian economy, Link should be spending his rupees, not saving them.

I’ve heard that buyer’s guilt is considerably easier to shed than those extra turkey-pounds accumulated over the holidays. And although I’m not really one for resolutions, it’s 2012 and a particularly important year according to the Mayan calendar. So for the next 12 months, my resolution is to try and eliminate feeling guilty when it comes to purchasing the things I enjoy. And with a slew of new games and gadgets hitting the shelves in 2012, I’m sure I’ll have no trouble finding a way of stopping the guilt for good.
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