It took me a long time to realize it, but minimalism pulled it out. An experience is more valuable than a possession. There, I said it out loud. Alright, I’ve said it before, and more and more people are joining the club. But why are experiences more valuable? There’s nothing tangible we can grab onto. My experience can’t call my family or send a text. Why?
The vacation might have cost $1,000 while the car cost $20,000. Clearly, the car costs more money. That has nothing to do with value. We will laugh about the drive across the country. The music that was on the radio (Vanessa Carlton), the open roads we faced (Iowa), and the storm we drove through (Hurricane something). We’ll never forget that. Ever. It was a great time.
That car, it did its part. It got us from A to B and it was a great run. As soon as that car lets us down big time, it’s on to the next one. Sure, we’ll never forget the experiences we had with the car, but the car will be in some junkyard while our memory will be with us.
A car is only one example. We all seem to value our cell phones a great deal. After all, think of the one possession that we use the most. For many, it’s our cell phone. We keep them with us, we check in with them regularly (often too much), and some people even sleep with them.
But imagine a cell phone with no other people involved. No person to call, text, or engage with on social media. It’s not really about a phone, it’s about an experience. It’s about (or should be about) the ability to connect with other people and have an experience. After all, let’s not forget that a phone was created, originally, to make a phone call.
And let’s not pretend that our phones are more important than the experience.
If it really was that phone, we wouldn’t run out and replace it with the next year’s version and/or we wouldn’t wish we had the version when we don’t get it. It’s not about the possession, it’s about the experience(s) that the possessions create.