What is a technological device? According to Merriam-Webster the word technological is an adjective defined as “resulting from improvements in technical processes that increase productivity of machines and eliminates manual operations or operations done by older machines” and the word device is a noun defined as, “an object, machine, or piece of equipment that has been made for some special purpose”. I know that according to the study of this particular course it is referring to computers, laptops, tablets, and cell phones, but what about the other technological devices that we use, acquire, change, update, dispose of and maybe consider the social and environmental impacts? Do they not warrant some discussion? Well, if I was considering the word count required for this post, I could waste a lot of space doing so. But if I really wanted to make a point about all of the “techno-devices” causing “techno-trash” and impacting our society and environment it would be a travesty not to mention them. “Microwave, icemaker, airconditioner, DVD, HDTV, alarm system, garborator, underground irrigation system, hair straightener, blow dryer, washer, dryer, gasfurnace, garage door opener, BBQ…POINT MADE! You’re welcome world!
Seriously, on a daily basis, I would say I use more techno-devices than I realize. My personal cell phone; (iPhone 4 on its last legs), my notebook, (which I call a laptop, because that is where it lives), a desktop computer at my home work station and at my place of employment work stations, a real sized laptop in the classroom that I teach in, an iPad in the dental clinic (mainly for Facebook, but my boss doesn’t know), wireless speaker on the deck(hey, it fits the definition), and of course our PVR box from our local cable company (it’s cheap because my husband works there, and we have 5 in our house). Let’s not forget the cheaply made and only works for 6 months cordless phones from Canadian Tire. Obviously some of these devices belong to my place of employment, but they are only used by me, and if they break down I am out of commission at work until Mr. Techno-guy calls me back. I can honestly say that I was coerced into getting these devices and still being honest, I was glad after I got them. My phone, laptop, desktop, wireless speaker and PVR boxes were all acquired through my husband because he believes in the importance of buying the newest technology. It keeps the people working and helps the economy. However, in my mind, I feel like we can’t keep up. As soon as you get a new device, there is a newer one on the horizon…PRESSURE! I try to use up everyone’s techno-trash when a birthday or Christmas presents with a new one. The latest notebook I own brand new because my used techno-trash (3 old laptops) went KAPUT! Shoppers Drug Mart had a notebook on sale (CHEAP) so I bought it.
I don’t like change. I don’t like to change my furniture around and I don’t like to change my devices. I like familiarity. I get comfortable and the older I get the more I become a creature of habit. I can use my devices with my eyes closed and very little brain power, so when I am forced to get a new device it is only because my husband can no longer fix it or simply is tired of trying (honey, it’s old, give it up).
I really do want to get rid of the techno-trash in my spare room. It is a tower of towers! A lapful of laptops! I’m not even sure anymore if it is a pile of computer mice or real mice. As much as my husband loves to upgrade, he also loves to keep everything. He might be able to use it for something else. I think if I dig deep enough in the furnace room I would probably find our desktop from 1992! I know I have a kitchen drawer full of Blackberry’s and iPhones. I actually still have my first cell phone in my desk drawer in the spare room. Come to think of it, I don’t think we have disposed of anything, and if we have, I don’t even know how or where. Maybe the dump; I do see that happen every spring, but I try to stay out of the way.
Before this post, I hadn’t reflected on the social and environmental impact of these devices. Socially, I do feel more connected to my family, friends, coworkers and acquaintances. I can Tweet and “go on FB” whenever or wherever I want. I will be the first to admit that I enjoy keeping in touch or reading, liking and tweeting with people. As for the environmental impact, I am disappointed with myself not to take notice of the pile of techno-trash that has accumulated and how I am going to dispose of it. I think I have seen signs from companies to call to pick up old computers and the like. But can I trust that it still won’t end up in a third world countries green space? Hmm…I’m past my word count…to be continued.