Do you just have to have “it”? Your brand of choice has just unveiled the fastest, or smallest, or thinnest, or biggest version of their new smartphone. There’s now a 3-d version of the TV you want…or maybe it’s now 2 inches larger diagonally…or ¾ of an inch thinner than what is mounted on your wall right now.
Do you feel the need to upgrade?
Maybe you want a fridge that syncs up with your smartphone to tell you when you need milk, or you a dryer that will text you when the load of wash is done. Did you know that diapers have sensors in them now that can send a message to your smartphone to let you know when your child needs to be changed?
I’m not saying that you should deny yourself the things you need, but what I’m asking is do you need the things that you want? And what happens to your discarded products? Where do they end up? Can they be recycled? Or only parts of them? What happens to the rest? Do they end up in a landfill somewhere…or in a third world country somewhere and it becomes someone else’s problem?
There was an interesting documentary I saw some time ago about planned obsolescence and seems like now more than ever the plan is in full swing. Here’s the link if you are interested. http://archive.org/details/PlannedObsolescenceDocumentary
We have been conditioned to upgrade. There was a time when you bought a household appliance (including a TV) and you expected it to last…20, maybe 25 years. There was also a time when you tell if your child’s diaper needed to be changed by paying attention…do you really need an app for that
And there’s another part to this…how are you paying for everything? It’s so easy to upgrade by using credit isn’t it? It’s become the norm…new technology is considered a normal cost of living which can easily be purchased on credit with an interest rate of anywhere between 7% and 36%. So what is the true cost our needs? It doesn’t even need to be technology related…what about the clothes we wear, or the décor of our home? Do we feel the need to change and upgrade because of fashion trends?
Mary has asked that we think about all of these things….what is the cost to us personally, to the environment, even to our mental health? Just things to think about the next time we go shopping.