What’s the Cost of that per Hour? A Simple Guide to Assess Value

We basically consume things as we live. As one simple way of assessing value when deciding whether or not to buy something, I calculate the price I’ll pay for it by the hour and put it in context of some other things to see how it stacks up. It’s a simple assessment of what the price is, divided by much time it could take up in my life, and compare to something else.

Example

A new tablet. $300, use, on average, over half an hour per day for two years. That’s $300 for at least 365 hours. For simple math, I go for 400 hours so $0.75 per hour. Compare that to a movie without extras that’s about $5 to $7 per hour (Canadian prices). High speed Internet at home that is about $0.50 per hour for me. A full sized piano keyboard that’s currently at $2 per hour. Current four years old desktop that is going under $0.50 per hour.

The call to buy or not is arbitrary pending other factors I’ll go over below, but this gives me a lot of context. I go for it but I commit to keeping that tablet for at least 2 years (and I recall this if I get a new one sooner than 2 years).

 

Other considerations

Of course, other considerations must be taken into account for the calculation:

  1. Use with other things. I may not use my tablet at all times without other things like app purchases. That’s fine. Calculate the other things for what they’re worth. Nobody ever only consumes one thing at all times in their lives.
  2. What else can you get for the same or better value that you might want to get instead? This often stops me as I opt for some other thing.
  3. Compare similar things. This is valuable for new, rare and/or unique things, especially the costly ones like those on vacation. For such things, compare what you can imagine in looking forward to the thing or experience, and compare it to something similar in theme (not necessarily same sort of thing because unique stuff is hard to find similarities for comparison). For considering things or experiences you were purchasing again, ask if that was worth the money at that rate.
  4. Stuff you can’t calculate. There is a lot of things you can’t calculate, like the social value to make new friends, or see some person you’re interested in getting to know better among a group of friends at a movie, that can overrule, or be worth the value of the something more costly, or novelty of a new experience that could lead to more things, a fun memory, etc. That’s great! Go for it! Just keep the total in check for what you can afford in your life. That’s a bigger calculation that’s not actually hard to estimate, but you’d need to know some details about how much you spend, save, want to save, etc. Keeping enough financial data about yourself is the hard part there, but I have that to help me.
  5. Other things still. Whatever you can dream up to consider, whether to overrule or help make the decision more systematic and rational. Sure, add it in! It is your calculation!
  6. Go with your guts if all else fails. As stated.

 

It’s far from a perfect system or model for deciding whether or not to buy things, but for starters, I think it’s a damn good one!

Tips and Challenges for National (Facebook) Unfriend Day on November 17

I’ve recently written some posts on purging your Facebook friends list due to the misuse, abuse and harm of Facebook friendships incurred by many people (links below). The issue has recently gotten more attention via talk show host Jimmy Kimmel calling for Wednesday, November 17, to be National Unfriend Day of NUD, and I am here to help with some tips and challenges should you want to take part in National Unfriend Day. This also goes for MySpace, LiveJournal, Bebo and other social networking platforms where you can add friends, but the main focus is on the largest social networking platform in the world, which is Facebook.

Vodpod videos no longer available.

Why you would want to take part in Unfriend Day (or do it on another day)

Because Facebook friends can be spies, now or in the future when someone decides to no longer like you, especially people you don’t know well but have as Facebook friends. With Facebook’s new Friendship Page feature that gives everyone creepy new spying capabilities on other people’s profiles, the fact that Facebook friends can be spies has never been truer. Facebook friends have access to everything you have unless you block them from specific things. But let’s be serious. How many people really do that? And even if you did, isn’t that enough of a creep factor to get you to unfriend them? And why are you causing yourself stress in watching your back on Facebook all the time since you might have to block certain friends from potentially every new thing you post?

Jimmy Kimmel talks about unfriending because Facebook has cheapened the meaning of friendship. I have also written similarly about the meaning of friendship versus Facebook friendship. However, there is a real life threat to Facebook friendship and not just an ideology here.

If you missed National Unfriend Day, there’s no reason NUD couldn’t be any other day during the year for you. In fact, I would recommend you purge your Facebook friends list several times during the year.

Facebook activities don’t get you in trouble, Facebook friends who see them do

It seems to me we’ve had enough bad stories of people getting caught on Facebook for everything from cheating to hate statements to inappropriate work comment and other such bad behaviours, but not many people still care all that much. Just remember, those behaviours aren’t what got those people in trouble. It’s the fact they had Facebook friends who saw the behaviours and did something about it, even if unintentional like sharing it in some way, online or in real life.

Which Facebook friends should you unfriend?

This could be tough for some people to do so I have a set of questions you can ask yourself of each Facebook friend you might consider removing. These are for the less obvious choices, but can be for any one on your Facebook friends list.

Will people think you mean for dropping Facebook friends?

Hardly. People seem to think that those with tons of meaningless Facebook friends are the ones who are insecure. Knowing who your friends are, and who are not, is a sign of personal security and integrity, not being mean.

What if the unfriended request being friends again?

If you have common friends with someone you untag, they may notice having been removed if you post something on your mutual friend’s wall and they see it by looking or a notification of others posting on the same post. They’ll probably only realize it because they see your name and realize they hadn’t seen any updates from you in a while. So what if they add you again? Awkward?

Maybe. But you can avoid it by blocking them after you remove them. Or ignore the friendship request. If it means that much to them, and if you have any real friendship in life, they can talk to you about it. If you have any real friendship in life, this Facebook friend stuff shouldn’t matter. Really, it’s not the end of the world.

Need some motivation?

Try my Remove 5 Facebook Friends challenge. This was posted on September 30, by the way, 5 weeks before Jimmy Kimmel asked for National Unfriend Day. đŸ™‚

For those who like to flaunt their life fun on Facebook, especially if there’s a little element of risk to it, how’s about flaunting your Facebook unfriending Facebook tagging style?

Facebook friends dumped tagging meme

I highly recommend you do this after you unfriend the people you tag, of course. Now, you can’t tag a picture with a link to someone you aren’t Facebook friends with, but you can always type in their names instead of choosing from a box listing your Facebook friends. This is like if you were to tag a photo of the Loch Ness monster, Darth Vader, Wolverine, Harry Potter, Bella Swan or anything else. They don’t have Facebook profiles, so far as I know, but you can still tag them in pictures. Same idea for Facebook friends you’ve dumped.

Good luck with National Unfriend Day, Jimmy and the world!

I don’t know how much media clout, or pull, Jimmy Kimmel will have in proposing National Unfriend Day, but it’s good advice. Even if it doesn’t do well, it’s the first year. Things take time to adapt, and more time if it’s a once a year occurrence. But remember what I said above…

If you missed National Unfriend Day, there’s no reason NUD couldn’t be any other day during the year for you. In fact, I would recommend you purge your Facebook friends list several times during the year.

Remember this fun Facebook in Real Life video? It needs a seriously creepy update!