Part I. a.) Calculate the lifespan for each object you owned.
My list of all the communication technologies I have owned so far is not long unfortunately. Since I am not a big fan of either new technology or video game, what I have owned so far is all related to my school work and hobby which is listening to music. For the things I currently use, I wrote how long I have used and how long it is expected to last before replacing or throwing away. For the previous LG cell phone and samsung cell phone, I have not thrown them away but use them as an alarm clock and their note pad functions.
Dell laptop – 3 years
HP laptop – 3 years + 5 more years expected
Samsung yepp mp3 player – 2 and a half year + 5 more years expected
Samsung tape player – approximately 5 years + 5 more years expected
2 LG cell phones
Previous one – 3 years + 4 more years expected
Current one – 1/2 year + 5 more years expected
1 samsung cell phone – 4 years + 4 more years expected
(b.) State which kind of obsolescence forced you to abandon each product
Among the communicative technologies I have owned, samsung tape player is the only product I chose not to use it for technological obsolescence. I used this product while I was an elementary student, and most of my friends purchased tapes to listen to music. However, the advent of mp3 music files during my junior high school years was enough to replace a tape player with mp3 player. Mp3 music files guarantee better quality and do not weigh as much as a tape. Mp3 player weighs much less, is more portable and also looks more fashionable than a tape player. It has various designs and colors whereas a tape player is in usual design and shape no matter which company it is produced from. At first, it was technological obsolescence but psychological obsolescence affected later on my choice for replacing with a newer technology.
Since Dell laptop was borrowed from one institution for my school work, I had to return it after the contract was expired.
The pattern of my communicative technology life span is increasing generally. I do not throw them away after replace them with newer technology, but constantly use their functions that I think that are useful. For the use of two previous cell phones, I constantly use their alarm clock, note pad, calendar and even camera functions sometimes, although they do not serve the original function, making a call, anymore. Although my current laptop and mp3 player are old-fashioned, I do not think I am going to replace them unless they break. Compared to my friends, my communicative technology life span seems pretty longer than theirs, because my friends replace their mp3 players and cell phones more frequently than I do. Some of them even have tablets or netbooks, although they already have laptops.
The most effective and realistic personal solution to the e-waste problem is using technologies as long as possible, similar to my long communicative technology life span. When people do not replace usable technologies frequently seeking better design and newest products, it fundamentally decreases an amount of e-waste. Since I tend to use communicative technologies for a long term, I rarely produce e-waste and do not need to buy new products of which functions overlap with my current ones. According to Slade, modern consumers prefer new technology to usable, traditional, old and durable technology. This tendency is reinforced by advertisement and marketing strategies. Many people support Packard, a journalist, who insists that the media leads obsolescence. Considering individual preference, it would not be reasonable to force people not to buy new products and use their current products until they break. Nevertheless, when people filter and consider advertisement of new technology in depth and make reasonable purchase of products, it would also help to decrease an amount of e-waste and increase the product life span.