Tuesday, May 4, 2010
Where and how far have "Planned Obsolescence" taken us?
Last week I went to the mall to buy a pair of shoes and my friend went with me because we decided to stop and have a dinner after leaving the mall. When I got to the shoes department in one of the biggest store in the mall, I didn’t find what I was looking for except a pair of shoes that I didn’t really like. However, because I need a new pair as soon as possible to wear for a birthday party next day, I asked my friend to help me decide. When I asked him, he directly said, “buy them you will buy a new pair three months from now anyways”. He is right, I’m going to replace them with new once soon. This is how we think nowadays. We don’t pay enough attention to our purchases because we know that we are going to buy the same stuff and replace the old once soon. This is where the idea of Planned Obsolescence took us so far.
In his article “Planned Obsolescence: A Plan or a Plot?” Tom Egelhoff reminds me of how back in the days products used to be stronger and last longer. In the beginning of his article, he says “When I was a boy, growing up in the mid-west, I remember hearing my father remarking about many products he bought, "The salesman told me we'll never have to buy another one, it'll last a lifetime." This is the way how people used to think before the purchase. They ask about the lifetime of the product and they less likely to buy some products that do not last long. Nowadays, we can not ask the same question to a salesman because we know that we always have to replace what we purchase soon, because of the changes of either product technological features or style. We are accepting the idea behind Planned Obsolescence so we should find solution for this issue and not ask business owners or marketers do it instead because I believe we are one of the main responsibles for that issue.
Planned Obsolescence: A Plan or a Plot?