Opportunity Cost The Real Cost of Devices

It is estimated that Americans will spend 51.3 billion dollars on mobile devices alone in 2015. (Statista) According to Forbes the average cost of an unlocked iPhone is now $687 and $254 for an Android device. According to U.S. News and World Report the average monthly bill among the top five service providers for mobile devices is approximately $138.25.  So if you are not paying up front for the device you are certainly paying for it on the back end.  Furthermore, in app purchases have become a 33 billion dollar industry and growing.  In 2014, users spent $1.3 billion on…………..…………Candy Crush!!

Although these numbers are staggering, I would suggest that the money spent on devices and the services associated with them does not portray their true cost.   They cost much more than the dollars we spend on them.

In the past we were concerned that we were spending too much time watching television.  You may be surprised to find out that we are now spending more time on mobile apps than we are on television.  The real frightening thing about this is that we are not watching less television!!

Look at this chart:

Time Spent on Mobile App Chart

We are spending 2.8 hours per day watching television and 3.3 hour per day in mobile apps for a total of 5.1 hours.  That is 21% of a 24 hour period and assuming we sleep 8 hours it becomes 32% of our waking hours.

You may be thinking, well my device is so handy it saves me so much time and makes me so much more productive in my job.  Check out this chart:

90 Percent of Time Spent on Apps

Only 4% of the time we spend on apps is actually assisting in productivity.  The largest amount is spent on Facebook.  If we spend 8 hours sleeping (33% of 24 hours), 8 hours working (33%), and 5.1 hours on devices and television (21%) that leaves 2.9 hours (12%) for everything else (commuting, eating, grocery shopping, family, bible reading, prayer etc.).

Ok now that the stats are out of the way, let’s look at the real cost of devices and that is the opportunity cost:

Simple definition of opportunity cost:

-the cost of a missed opportunity

We have choices for how we spend our resources.  Our most valuable resource is time.  We have to look at the option we did not choose to know the opportunity cost of the option we did pick.  When we choose to spend an hour on our devices the opportunity cost is the value of the hour that could have been spent with the Lord, reading our bibles, family, prayer or getting things done.  How much more valuable are those things?

Eph 5:15  See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise,

Eph 5:16  Redeeming the time, because the days are evil.

The greek word for redeeming is exagorazo & according to Thayer’s Greek Lexicon means:

-to make wise and sacred use of every opportunity for doing good, so that zeal and well doing are as it were the purchase money by which we make the time our own

Are we wise with our time?  It is valuable.




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