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When I was in high school, I got into a competition for a scholarship.
It was an online game called “The Art of Social Media.”
The competition was a lot like the one I’d been running for years.
Every time I won, I was given $1,000.
I got an iPhone, and I was on a mission to get it to everyone.
I set up an account on Instagram.
I posted a picture of my iPad on Snapchat.
I started talking with my friends.
I got the phone.
My dad gave it to me.
I told him I was going to buy the thing.
I was ecstatic.
I had my new iPhone.
The next day, I bought it for $99.
The following day, for $199.
I paid $250.
And I paid a whopping $600 for a new iPad.
It came with a charger and an iPad mini.
I thought this was crazy.
Why couldn’t I just get a $10 iPad mini?
I’d seen people with $10 iPhones before.
Why was I going to pay so much more for an iPad?
It felt like the internet was throwing money at me.
But when I finally got my $10 iPhone, I felt a little more normal.
I wasn’t mad.
I didn’t feel guilty.
It wasn’t like I had done anything wrong.
I’m not a huge fan of smartphones.
They’re expensive, clumsy, and sometimes just not a good fit for most people.
But the $10,000 I paid was worth it.
I was excited.
I felt like I’d made the right decision.
I could do anything.
My $10 was a bargain compared to the thousands of dollars that went into buying the $1.5 million iPad mini and $3,000 iPhone 7 Plus.
That $10 is a significant amount of money.
But I didn.
I spent it all on a $200 Apple Watch.
The $1 Apple Watch was a terrible deal.
It looked like an expensive watch.
And there was a big catch: the watch was also an expensive phone.
It cost me $150 to get.
But my $1 iPhone was a dealbreaker.
I wanted it for myself.
I knew I’d want to keep it.
So I started saving.
I went back and forth with my dad, and eventually we got a deal on the $50 iPhone 7 that would save me about $200.
And it would cost me about twice as much to get a new $20 iPad Mini.
But that’s okay, because I could always sell it.
I didn’t buy it because I wanted a new iPhone or iPad.
I bought the $200 iPad mini because I thought it would make me feel more comfortable.
I thought I could do almost anything.
My parents were supportive.
I used their money to buy a pair of shoes.
They made a big deal out of me buying a new pair of boots, which I later found out were really cheap and not a great deal.
But I liked the shoes.
I liked that I could have them and I could afford them.
And when they ran out, I had some spare money to spend on a pair.
My mom also liked the clothes.
She’d make me go shopping, and she’d help me find the clothes I wanted.
When the time came to buy my next iPhone, my mom was there.
She made it clear that I was buying something special.
I said I’d give her my phone number.
She made me wait for about 30 minutes.
Then she took the phone and rang the number.
The guy on the other end of the line asked me to pick up my phone.
Then the guy on my other end said, “What is it?”
I said, $100.
I don’t think my mom ever expected me to pay $100 for something that would be so easily bought for less than $100 in the first place.
And yet, my $100 purchase made me feel good about myself.
The feeling of accomplishment that came with that decision was overwhelming.
I spent the next month on social media.
I would post on Instagram photos of my new $1 iPad, and then, if I was feeling particularly creative, I’d post a picture from my old iPhone that was sitting in a closet.
The first picture was of the $100 iPhone 7, the second was of my old $1 MacBook Pro.
I even put up a picture that showed the $20 Apple Watch that was also sitting in my closet.
I liked how this made me look smart.
I could look good on Instagram and Facebook.
I did a lot of social media posts, and when I wasn