Obsolescence

>> Monday, April 6, 2009

I plan to write a nice long blog about my adventures at the Martinsville NASCAR race, but today, I have a mini-rant that I want to express about the concept/process of Obsolescence. I am laying here (feet up, cat snuggled close) typing on a very nice laptop computer. We have had this computer for about 5 years now. It was top of the line when we got it. Well... not it is fast approaching it's sell by date... if you know what I mean. I am getting annoyed at the way we are becoming a society that constantly needs new gizmos and gadgets because the onese we have are purposely designed to be obsolete in a year so that we will need to buy new ones. Case in point... a few years ago, my husband accidentally broke the LCD screen on his cell phone. No problem, we thought, let's just get him a new one. Well, turns out it is not so simple. Apparently, he could only replace his phone with one that operated on a new form of network and with a new type of chip. The hassle was that since we were on a family plan, they deteremined that I had to get a new phone too! Oddly enough, I am not complaining about the price of the phones. They gave us a nice discount. What I was upset (and obviously still am) about was that I had to turn in a perfectly good phone. I couldn't even donate it to a women's shelter, because it was so OBSOLETE. Yeah, it was only 2 years old.

Down from my soapbox for now. This rant was triggered by my laptop having a network burp and me spending an hour on the phone with a nice girl in India. She helped me out, but turns out I will be needing a new computer soon. Time to start saving up.

2 comments:

sammy johnson April 6, 2009 at 11:53 PM  

yeah, I hate the wastefulness of it all. Because in a large part we have become a nation te craves instant gratification, we are unwilling to pay more for things that will last. Obsolescence isn't necessary to maintain capitalism, but we would have to pay more for the things we do purchase.

Clothing in particular is so poorly made these days that if it is not obsolete in a year, it is too worn out or damaged to wear. The biggest gripe we currently have, is that we have a perfectly functional 20 year old television. It works great! We like it! But now because of nationwide digital we have to buy a converter box in order to get a signal. Thus, a perfectly good T.V. will be be just more landfill if we decide to get a new one.

If we want our planet to last and live in a wolrd free from overwhelming pollution we have to rethink our priorities!

The other thing that is particularly annoying is how products are manufactured so that the individual cannot perform even the simplist repairs on them. Take cars for example. It is increasingly difficult to even perform simple maintenence like changing your battery because the computer chip malfunctions if not turned off and back on properly. Therfore you have to take the car to the shop for an otherwise very simple procedure.

Fangirl Jen April 13, 2009 at 12:16 PM  

Thanks for the comment Sammy. Yes, I remember when I had a 1968 Mustang. If something broke, I just got a new part. There was not big computer system to deal with. I miss that car and all of its simplicity.

Thanks for reading!

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