Technology is bitter sweet, maybe becoming more bitter than sweet as it continues to evolve. We live in a world full of new and growing technology. It surrounds us daily and has many forms. It can be something as simple as the pen you use to write with every day, your electric toothbrush (that I hope you use several times a day), or more elaborate things like your car and computer. Along with the above, and much more, some things I use daily are my cell phone, camera, and let’s not leave out the television. The TV being an example of how technology can be bitter now a days because it has found ways to creep into our daily lives taking away from more important things, like family time spent together, where we see each family member in separate parts of the house, alone, staring at these screens rather than doing something together.
Technology, in most forms, is rather easy to come by here in North America. As I said we are surrounded by it and just going to the store you encounter traffic lights, radios, and automatic sliding doors, among others. We don’t own these technologies but if we wanted to acquire a certain item we can do so with ease. Regarding the items I use daily, my phone, camera and TV, I can easily get in my car and head to the store to pick these up. In this process alone so much technology is used. From the moment I get in my car, I listen to the radio until my destination, follow traffic light signals, wirelessly lock my car, enter the store without having to physically open a door, ring up my purchase through the computer and then pay for it via a debit/credit machine. The list goes on and it is amazing how much we rely on technology every day.
Let’s focus on my phone, camera and laptop. In updating these items it comes down to cost and interest. I don’t use my laptop often and it’s not something of huge importance for me, so I’m happy using the same one until it becomes completely unrepairable. I have owned two laptops in my entire life, both of which still function well. My camera and phone are a different story. Phones can be rather inexpensive today with the different contracts and rebates that are available. This low monetary cost along with the improvements over the years in cell phones has me updating my phones before they expire. One of the major things for updating my phone is the camera capabilities. I love taking pictures so to have that option on the go with my phone is huge. As I have become older, and learned the value of money, my camera updates have become less frequent. Prior to that I often purchased the newest models as the megapixels and optical zooms were always increasing; then with the creation of water, shock and weather proof cameras, I had to have them!
The items I have bought over the years still work great and I have never had to dispose of them as garbage. That said I do have a drawer full of every cell phone I’ve ever owned! I’m not too sure why I struggle parting with these but with my laptops and old cameras I’m happy to pass them along to next person who needs them. My family tends to get my hand me downs and they are happy with that! My Aunt and Cousin happily make use out of my old laptop and my Mother and Grandparents enjoy my older but newer cameras! Other dated things, like film cameras, I’ve donated to other causes and they have always been in great working conditions, never disposed of as garbage.
Technology has its impacts on the world and though I can say I’ve considered the social impacts, I have not been aware of the environmental impacts it has. Learning about the effects on the wetlands in Ghana really opened my eyes to this. I can sit here and say I had no part in that because my devices are still being used, but that would be ignorant. Through my lifetime I have used so many computers, printers, televisions, radios, appliances and so on, that now that my eyes have been opened to this awful reality I must be accountable and rethink my technological practices and their consequences outside the comforts of my cushy first world home.