Most of us want things because other people have them or because they are simply "out there." But have you really sat down, assessed your life and tried honestly to determine what you need and what you can utilize?

My husband and I have. We have a strange mix of technology, for example, but it suits us. We do not have television reception of any sort and haven't since 2004. My husband was never a television watcher, so this was my decision. As much as I tried to select good programs on good channels, this proved impossible because commercials simply have too much smut. When we want to watch something like Masterpiece Theater, we watch it online.

Computers and the Internet are much more versatile. I completed some schooling online. My husband searches for employment online. We get all our news online. We download books for free from what the state provides for its residents. We research products and services we need, check weather and many other things. Computer access gives us so much; when television gave us only entertainment, with a slight amount of educational programming.

Since we are home nearly all the time, we do not have cell phones. We bought a small trak phone because of our recent move and we use it occasionally, for our convenience, when we are out. A landline makes the most sense for us right now. No real need for mobile media, since we are not particularly mobile. Tablets like iPads would actually limit our computer access, not enhance it.

Since the Church makes so much available online including audio programming, we each have small iPods/MP3 players. They are both basic and have very few features. We constantly delete and add new files like the Ensign or Conference talks. Neither of us keeps audio files for very long. Audiobooks are downloaded to our players or listened to on the computer. Our basic models fulfill our needs.

I don't begrudge other people more media or different media because their needs are different. I think it is a no-brainer that college students need cell phones and other mobile media. How could salesmen or real estate agents survive without them?

By utilizing Google Voice, I can have a "universal" phone number, as well as send and receive text messages. Facebook, and other social media, alleviates the need to snail mail family and friends or even phone them.

None of our technology was casually acquired. All was subjected to a rigorous cost/benefit analysis. We applied this same process to our car when we bought it. We decided to forego power door locks because it was so small we could both reach all the door locks easily from any seat. We acquired only the options our lifestyle needed The car took us through good times and bad and served our needs well. When we sold it last year, after 13 years of good service, it was still getting over 30 miles per gallon.

The experts suggest that normal people's brains can only handle a MAXIMUM of 150 friends on Facebook. How many have you got? I've found just over 20 is my limit.

Isn't your life frenetic because you have too much and you are trying too hard to justify having it?

How many discretionary hours do you have in a week? Does the small number justify what you have to clog those hours up?

Be serious. What do you really NEED!

Series: Mormons & Materialism Series
Part 1 We Can't Take it With Us or Even Use it Here
Part 2 Stuff & Nonsense
Part 3 Out of Purgatory or Into Heaven
Part 4 What We Consume Ends Up Consuming Us
Part 5 Affluence or the Appearance of It
Part 6 Titles, Labels and Lemon Juice
Part 7 Power and Other Addictions
Part 8 Summer Cottages in Babylon
Part 9 Valuing Based on Utility
Part 10 Get Rid of It!
Part 11: Consecration & Conclusion

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