Like others, my life also revolves around the use of technology on daily basis. Technological devices that I use almost regularly include a laptop, iPad, iPod, a cell phone and a printer. Laptop is used almost every time for academic purposes or for social media interaction and playing games. I use iPad only for taking notes during the lecture. In order to take a break from daily routine, iPod is used for relaxing by listening to music. As far as printer is concerned, it is mainly for printing my lecture notes and it also includes a scanner but I rarely use it. Cell phone would probably win in the race of daily consumption of technological devices. It is used all the time from texting to checking e-mails.
All of the devices mentioned above were bought new. Laptop, iPad, iPod were all bought myself where as my cell phone was a gift. Printer/scanner was bought by my parents for use by all. I bought laptop about two years ago and have not changed it once since then. The reason for buying a new laptop was because my old laptop did not start one morning and its battery used to run out quickly as well. Therefore, I bought a new laptop and it does bother me sometimes by repeatedly being notified to update to Windows 8.1 but I have no plans of doing it. My cell automatically updates not allowing me to control that feature. However, I haven’t updated my iPod yet due to which I can’t operate a few applications but I am still not going to download new update. It takes a long time for me to get used to the new changes as a result of updates, so I’d rather not update as far as it is in my control. I used to own a blackberry phone but due to battery problems, I switched to Nexus 4 in January 2014.
Like I mentioned, I am not very adaptable when it comes to changing my devices frequently. In most cases, it is the battery life due to which I would change any device. For example, I am planning to keep my cell phone as long as it functions well. Even though, I hear about new versions of phones coming out but I am not easily attracted to them and I keep my phone/any device for the sake of avoiding data transfers like contacts, pictures, music and such to a new device plus it takes me long time to get used to the new device.
I have some cell phones still somewhere in my drawer. These items not only include cell phones but also two printers that we no longer use at home and huge number of cables of various items that we don’t own anymore. To dispose off few items which still are functioning, I would sometimes sell them on Kijiji or sometimes a friend of mine would be interested in taking it away. Thrift store is another place my family donates well functioning devices which serves a dual role: a way of disposing off devices resulting in somebody’s good. Even if a device is not in a working condition, I would order a new battery or a replacement part to sell it off, if I don’t want to keep it at home. Other than selling, I have given away a few items and common use batteries to Brock University since they were running a campaign to collect e-waste. Sometimes, I have also seen a truck/van advertising for old electronics to be donated to them. However, I have never disposed off any devices to such companies.
I had never given much attention to consider environmental and social impact of devices used for my personal use. After reading articles and watching videos about the dumping of e-waste in third world countries, I have started to think and question myself about the final destination of e-waste. We can never be sure as to what is all the e-waste collected used for and how do other companies collecting e-waste get rid of them. Also, data servers violate clean air regulations leading to pollution and are a source of energy wastage (1). Even though we free ourselves of e-waste from our surroundings, it is important to think of the negative health consequences caused by them to the places where they are dumped.
1. Glanz, James. “Power, Pollution and the Internet.” The New York Times. 22 Sept. 2012. http://www.nytimes.com/2012/09/23/technology/data-centers-waste-vast-amounts-of-energy-belying-industry-image.html?ref=technology&_r=0
Some old cables in storage: All cell phones accumulated:
All laptops currently in use: