America the Great. (But Really… We are. Just not at this.)
// Posted by Kindall on 06/11/2015 (12:29 PM)
Slade writes that “deliberate obsolescence in all it’s forms — technological, psychological, or planned — is a uniquely American invention.” The videos we watched, especially “E-Waste Hell”, focus on how we “outsource” our garbage- harming others in the process. This all made me wonder… If we are exploiting others as landfills and exporting our problems… then we have most certainly exported our unquenchable desire for repetitive consumption as well.
Let’s talk about eating disorders. Anorexia Nervosa. Body Dismorphic Disorder. Bulimia Nervosa. Binge Eating Disorder.
All of these diseases are American born and grown, and they are now in countries across the globe. We know, for a fact, that we socially infected others as patient zero. That leads me to ask: Are we patient zero in wastefulness and planned obsolescence as well? I always assumed that other countries used disposable goods (if they were economically sound enough) and they tossed aside their non recyclable electronics… just like us. Now I think they are doing these things BECAUSE of us.
(This is an excellent piece about how culture-specific disorders can spread: 10psyche-t.html?_r=0)
We seem to think that because our nation is basically still in its infancy compared to other ancient and historic societies, that whatever we do… must have come from them, in some way, at some point. But now we know that theory is not true.
Since we have potentially infected nations, across the globe, with “Planned Obsolescence Disorder”- it’s our responsibility to lead a campaign to stop it. Or, at the very least, we should start cleaning up our own mess and managing our own trash.
We are bringing electronics (that we simply throw away for updated models) to countries and continents where the majority of its people cannot count on running water each day. Does that seem a little messed up to anyone else?
I am not saying America is evil. Because we’re not. We are hardly the worst… but it is time we stop pretending we are the best. – Shout to HBO’s “Newsroom” for pointing this out: (the clip is 4 minutes long but worth it)
Perhaps the first step of re-establishing our greatness as a superpower is taking on our electronic waste and finding a way to deal with our own problems, rather than creating them for others.
I work in communications and marketing. I am all for stabilizing a brand and pushing a product or service. In fact, in order to survive, we need constant consumption. So, if getting rid of disposable products isn’t the answer, then maybe we should focus on the PROPER disposable of these goods.
Hey, Apple (who I love dearly… seriously I am a FanGirl about their new gadgets): Instead of making me buy a new iPhone that is practically the same as the last, make new features attachable, or have us pay for upgrades instead of new hardware.
We need to be talking about this more. So, who begins the conversation? Is anyone willing to sacrifice a few dollars to do it? If nothing else, tech companies should be swooning over the positive PR of being the pioneer on cleaning up America’s E-waste.