Fighting scheduled obsolescence

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1 year ago

Last week my trusty old smartphone stopped turning on.

Sure, I shouldn't be surprised it's a 2014 device that ran (almost) uninterruptedly without even requiring battery replacement.

Eight years is a long time for a phone designed with the intention of replacement by fashion through planned obsolescence: it's been a while since the OS has been updated. However, I only had to take it to service once to replace the screen due to damage to the touchscreen after multiple drops.

Fortunately, my daughter gifted me the first phone she bought with the fruits of her labor, a 2016 Samsung Galaxy J7 Prime. In fact, she bought it second hand, and although it has cracks on the screen surface, it works more than well enough to meet my needs.

Also, a fortuitous event caused me to back up the contacts on the old Samsung Galaxy Grand Neo Plus. Practicing the habit of backing up information ensures that you don't lose it. But I wonder, who backs up data consistently?

Nowadays, apps offer this cloud backup service. Sounds great, but if you're sanely paranoid like me, you'd think twice. The cloud is a technical euphemism for storing your data on Big Tech's servers.

Well! Someone will say, "Drop the suspicion. Anyway, by using their services, they already have your information."

I think, no doubt, he would be quite right.

Facebook, now Meta, is the governing corporation of many subsidiary applications such as WhatsApp or Instagram that handle the interaction of billions of people. Undoubtedly already have all your digital data for commercial use or any other use that we are unaware of.

Moreover, if one would pay more attention to the fine print of the conditions and terms of service contracts, one would see with a bit of analysis where they are heading with our own consent.

However, the sense of urgency to satisfy your wants rather than needs will make you disregard common sense and give them all the privileges they ask for just to enjoy the immediacy of using the addictive technology. It feels good; I can attest to that.

Yes! When transferring the information to the new device, I used WhatsApp's cloud service.

Silly of me, don't you think!

A couple of weeks ago, I evaluated alternatives to replace this service. To my mind came up, among others, Telegram and Signal.

The purpose was to subscribe to a similar but open-source service. A service for the family network and for close friends.

Although, if one thinks about it. Both hardware and software are parts of the system from which one would like to protect oneself when judging the most sinister machinations.

Of course, I also understand that there is room within and from the system for (well-intentioned) self-debugging.

I am hopeful that these efforts will flourish for our good.

In the meantime, it behooves one to deal with technology wisely. Remember, technology is neither good nor bad, just an expression of individual and collective interests.

I think even my old Samsung Galaxy Grand Neo Plus is still fixable. I suspect that repairing the power button may give it a few more years of use.

I already have the person who will inherit it. Of course, if I can find a technician willing to repair it at a reasonable price.

Carefully using the devices as long as possible is one way to beat the consumption habit induced by planned obsolescence.

Source: Image by Philipp Zurawski on Pixabay 

An original article by @Jnavedan

The thumbnail by  Jean van der Meulen on Pixabay 

Cover image by Philipp Zurawski en Pixabay 

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