By Sarah Mosko
It’s not much of a stretch to liken America’s relationship with cells phones to a once sizzling romance that ends in good bye.
Fated love affairs typically begin with blind infatuation and fiery passion before reality sets in, cooling the embers enough to allow more guarded, sometimes less attractive aspects of the self to surface. Interest wanes until the love object is abandoned or replaced by an alluring new one.
Americans relate to cell phones in much the same way. An old phone, with once novel features that drew fascination, is discarded with hardly a thought when an updated model makes it seem obsolete.
That consumers replace cell phones about every two years–with Californians purchasing in a single year nearly one new cell for every two state residents–makes this analogy seem less silly.
A parallel can be drawn too between the innards of a cell phone and what is revealed when one person lets another peek inside: it’s not all pretty. Some nasty materials lurk behind the bright shiny casing, making cell phone disposal a knotty environmental issue, analogous to ending, with minimal damages, a relationship gone sour. (more…)