In the 21st Century, apparently a mobile telephonic communicator; camera; notetaker; web surfer; gamer is required. I feel it is pulling me in to the trap of value things and using people. Try stepping back from your need for buying that new shiny thing and think about what it represents. This small box has gathered rare materials from across the planet, and humans have risked their health to mine, transport and put these materials together to give you this box that apparently will ensure you are less alone. Do you feel less alone with a machine in your pocket?
I do NOT. If I wish to engage with another human then I make eye contact and find a way to enrich both our lives. I believe this normally happens with people geographically closest to you. I remember enjoying just popping around to my friend’s house and knock on their door and going out to play. It is as thou the mobile phone has made this basic interaction rude. Instead it allows you to continually change plans, provides constant distractions, harms the people making them, harms the people using them. Where is the benefit?
I do accept screens are devices to gain access to the world and it has made great advances in science and technology. However, our ability to access the world, is due to the foresight of Sir Berners-Lee, who set up the world wide web as a tool to be free at the point of use. I am angry at companies, such as Apple and Google, freeriding on the world wide web to sell me products and services. It makes them in to FTSE 100 companies. What about me the consumer?
In America, the adage is customer is King. I do not believe this anymore. I feel manipulated and used by large companies. Their approach is to sweat their assets, which are the workers who make the phones, develop the software and selling the products/service. How many of you ask before getting your new iPhoneX, or Google phone, how these people are remunerated and kept safe while delivering your precious device. In a news story today, Reuters highlights this issue with the iPhoneX. If this approach to using up our planets’ finite natural resources makes you angry, then there is another way, fairphone.
The Fairphone concept comes from recognising the value of the raw materials in the device. A great approach but they still only have a small share of the marketplace. So why not follow my lead and take any opportunity to ask the leading brands out there, what they are doing on this issue. I spent an interesting Saturday morning, talking to shop assistants. None of them had been asked the types of questions I had been asking. I left the shop and left my email address, with the promise that they would ask the questions of their managers. I have only had one response back so far.
So yes, I’m talking to you. If I catch your eye and we enrich each other’s lives with a smile then I believe we are both the richer. The Dali Lama asked why we value things and use people, and I have used this to create conversations with people. My response is
Value people, and use things, whilst keeping the planet in mind.