The laptop I write this on is old. Ancient. And now, I am told it is obsolete. Unpleasant messages are popping up on my screen on a daily basis, warning me the ‘server no longer supports this version of…’, that my files are no longer saved on a ‘something or other’. Also, I can no longer establish a connection between my phone and laptop, or my camera and laptop.
Granted, this laptop is nine years old. Yet he (yes, ‘he’) shows few, if any, signs of wear and tear. And he works perfectly well, thank you very much. At least, I think so. But others beg to differ. And it is getting harder and harder to argue with them.
My laptop is a wonderful piece of equipment. Sleek, maybe a bit on the heavy side compared to more recent models, but trustworthy. He boasts no touch bars, and yes, he has an old fashioned Hard Disk Drive and a fan which over the years has turned a tad noisy. And sometimes he gets a bit hot. But despite these minor signs of gentle aging, he and I maintain an intimate relationship. We connect and interact on a daily basis. Letting him go would be similar to … a divorce – of sorts; instigated by others who claim I need to ‘upgrade’.
Despite being IT and computer un-savvy, I of course understand the rationale behind it all. But as a simple consumer, I feel duped. Again.
Imagine. I have just bought a new cashmere jumper I think would go perfectly well with my black jeans. Only, once at home, suddenly, my sweater objects, claiming it is not compatible with this version of last year’s jeans.
Or. Did you know mattresses have a sell-by date of eight years? So, all of a sudden, my memory foam’s in-built device protests and declares it no longer supports my … bedmate?
You see my point.
And then there is the question of recycling. I recycle, don’t we all? I too want there to be less waste, less plastic, less packaging and smarter solutions in the reuse and reprocessing of everything it is we use. But would it not be equally important to reduce the need to recycle and reuse by simply keeping our products (re: My Laptop) for a longer period of time? Think of it as a refill, Mr. Mac!
LEt’s face it, my laptop still has a good number of years in him. His hardware is sturdy. He is loved and cared for. Only his soft bits are being questioned.