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Why Not Be Good at Being a Consumer?

In January of this year I posted several times about a curious question: why didn't more people work harder at being good conversationalists, considering the benefits of improvement and its feasibility? It is in the reach of just about everybody. For the most part, it just involves overcoming a small set of bad habits.

The same question comes up in a different setting: why don't more people work harder at being good consumers, considering the benefits of doing so, and its feasibility? Is it a lack of knowledge? Or just the sheep-like behavior of the herd who sees too many commercials?

What caused me to think about this was the experience of screwing up on the purchase of an external keyboard for a computer which works fine but has a defective keyboard. How could I not notice that the 'enter' key and right hand shift keys were half size? This is the very reason why I avoided 10 inch netbooks when they were the rage a few years ago. Same for 10" tablet keyboards.

And how people type on smart phones, I will never understand.

I even made a second mistake by getting sucked into paying more for a wireless keyboard. There is no reason why I would need that. But it seemed like the 'cool' thing to do.

This is just a trivial example, and yet it is so inconsistent with my normal patterns. Perhaps it is easier to be a good shopper when a large and important item is needed. After all, you get serious about it then. But small expenses slip under the radar screen.

Considering what a big part of life it is to be a consumer, why wouldn't a guy enjoy being good at it? People desire to be good at other fundamental parts of their lives (being an employee, a driver, a spouse or parent), so why not consumer-hood?