Technology was supposed to help us, not rob us
We were told that computers were supposed to make our lives more efficient, and save us time and money. They have done none of that. Instead, they are ruining our lives, costing us a fortune and contributing to a society driven by anger and emotion.
By Ray Hanania
When I got my first computer in 1980, a Coleco Adam, it was exciting. And then I upgraded to the IBM PC Jr a few years later and it was amazing.
They sold us computer on the promise that it would help us better use our lives. Spend less time with menial tasks and the computer would do all the work.
They said we would never need paper anymore and that would save the trees. But oh, how it would help us stay in touch with the world through the Internet, which was opening up right about that time too.
Of course, today, nothing could be further from the truth.
Instead of saving us time, it makes us waste time so we have less time to spend with our families.
Instead of saving the environment, it has created an environmental hazard or silicon diodes and circuit boards that can’t be easily recycled or disposed. Many communities that once touted computer recycling have shut them down because they are so costly.
The trees are dying because computers have created a massive paper production industry that spits out paper at one page per-second.
The worst part of course is that in helping to break up families by forcing everyone to spend time on their own, everyone in the family has to work now because computers are so expensive.
They have become “necessary” and “mandatory.” If you want to survive in this world, you need a computer. The costs of computers are so great that we have to work twice as hard to earn enough money to purchase the technology, which continues to change so fast that before you bring a computer home, it’s outdated and no longer supported.
And when we talk about computers, we are also talking about cell phone technology. And cell phone companies are the real thieves of the computer industry.
I laughed when Sprint asserted I can get four phones for $100 a month. I dumped Sprint after 11 years because my monthly bill for four phones was $239 a month. I switched to T-Mobile, at only $170 a month, which is still higher than my heating bill.
The worst offender is Apple, the company founded by Steve Jobs in his garage. Apple was built on a culture of providing things we didn’t have but needed. Apple was supposed to symbolize all that society could achieve. Instead, Apple symbolizes all the profit it can squeeze out of consumers.
Earlier this year, Apple released new updated cell phones. I have the iPhone 6 which cost me about $360.The new iPhone 8 and the iPhone X are costly $999 and $1,150 each.
Weeks after the new releases, my iPhone 6 started to slow down and have problems. The more I spoke with Apple Tech, the more I suspected they were lying. They kept trying to force me to purchase the new phones, which costs three times as much.
This was intentional. They wanted me to toss my technology so I could go out and spend more money on new technology. I wrote about that in my online column at TheDailyHookah.com and in speaking to Apple Techs online, they insisted it was not true.
But this week, we learned that in fact it was true. Apple forced all previous iPhone owners to update their software making them run slower, claiming that the batteries they had were old and might shut the phone down. Very few phones were shutting down. But everyone was experiencing the slow performance. Basic iPhone Apps like Messenger, Text Messaging, Emails and Voicemails on old iPhones were not working right.
The truth is Apple and the computer Industry is driven by greed. They don’t care about the social value of their products. They only care about profit.
(Ray Hanania is an award-winning columnist, author and former Chicago City Hall political reporter. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.)
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Hanania also writes about Middle East issues for the Arab News, and The Arab Daily News criticizing government policies in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
A critic of mainstream news media bias, Hanania advocates for peace & justice for Israel & Palestine, & the empowerment of Arabs in America.
"I write about three topics, the Middle East, politics and life in general. I often take my life experiences and offer them in an entertaining way to readers, and I take on the toughest topics like the Israel-Palestine conflict and don't pull any punches about what I feel is fair. But, my priority is always about writing the good story."
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His columns are archived here. Hanania was named "Best Ethnic American Columnist" by the New America Media in November 2007, and is the 2009 recipient of the SPJ National Sigma Delta Chi Award for column writing.
Email Ray Hanania at email@example.com.
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