Since when have we become so ‘accessorized’?
Recently, I visited a Best Buy and expected to find wall after wall of big screen TVs, computers, electronics, stereos. I am not much of a gadget guy, so I don’t frequent these places very much. Well, I wasn’t disappointed. My preconceived notions were fulfilled.
The store’s perimeter is an electronic festival with flashes of light, color, images and sound. A bank of TVs allure with stunningly picturesque pictures of bears swatting salmon in angry rapids, two children frolicking in a meadow of wildflowers, a fearsome linebacker delivering a knockout blow to the opposing team’s quarterback. I couldn’t help but look at every one, despite the fact that they were all streaming the same picture.
The store’s interior, however, pulses to a different beat. Let’s call it stuff (accessories): game cartridges, DVDs, CDs, gift cards, wires, cables, camera cases, Ipod skins. I am fairly tech-savvy, yet I almost felt compelled to ask for a translation guide. This accessory goes with what product? And why would I need this?
I used to think of Best Buy as the store of ‘Big Things’: TV, appliances, stereos. It’s where I went with a friend’s truck because I knew my car wouldn’t hold my loot.
Now, it’s the land of small things. Five years ago, you walked out of Best Buy with something on a dolly for $500 pushed by a pimply-faced high-schooler. Now, you pack your cart full of ‘things’ and wonder how all of it cost $300. During my recent visit, the traffic condensed around the peripherals, add-ons, and accessories, not the big-ticket items.
The world’s become bigger. Its products, however, are becoming smaller.
Sure, we still buy the big things, but the ‘little stuff’ seems to be the locomotive in today’s economy train.
Until next time,