Saturday, February 27, 2016

Technological Understanding and E-Waste

We know that community plays a role, with Reduce, Recycle, Reuse: Electronic Waste we cover the aspect of getting together with others to find a way to cultivate habits to not only recycle, but also reduce and reuse our electronics.

The Landscape of Today to The Landscape of the Future we learn why e-waste cannot be ignored, technology is growing and we are growing with it. With the breakneck speed technology is progressing we have both good news and bad news. The good news for technology, as this article from the Harvard Business Review goes into is that The Pace of Technology Adoption is Speeding Up.

But there's a phrase that apparently there isn't a consensus on what exactly it means; technological literacy. Education Week breaks it down in Tech Literacy Confusion, on one hand you have people saying it should be about interpreting digital forms of all kinds of media, and on the other you have people saying it should stick to the fundamentals of STEM, and then there's the whole issue of measuring technological literacy.

So the bad news for everything else is, as you can see from the fact that people can't even make up their minds on what technological literacy means, there are a lot more people using technology than there are people who understand it. So what does understanding technology have to do with e-waste?

A personal anecdote for example, my brother and I both love technology, which has naturally led to us gaining a strong understanding of it. My sister has never cared for it much at all, while she does reap the benefits of having a cutting edge smartphone and a good laptop. My brother and I combined, have gone through a total of five different phones, two for him three for me. My sister, by herself, has gone through ten. While our sister always has the newest smartphone, she has certainly sunk a lot more money into them, and has doubled the waste. Even with being able to use her brothers as a resource to fix her phone when its malfunctioning, her frustration with her devices built up much quicker than it ever would in either me or my brother due to a lack of understanding, which would lead to her being much more willing to replace it.

It's inevitable that technology encompasses our lives more than anybody could currently comprehend, which is why there is nothing but benefits to getting a head start on understanding it. A sustainable lifestyle is fueled by awareness and knowledge, while the scope of our lives expands it gets harder to be aware and be knowledgeable about everything we do, but Steve Howard goes into details on why we all (particularly businesses, but it applies to everybody too) should go all-in on sustainability in this 13-minute Ted talk.

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