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Commercial Times: Apple's effect on the world

2012/04/25 13:57:10

Six months after the death of Apple Inc. co-founder Steve Jobs, the world has continued to embrace the surprises and conveniences created by the company's products but is also beginning to examine their side effects, such as the poor working conditions at Apple factories and the pollution they cause.

Through its unique IOS mobile operating system that allow users to access numerous applications, Apple has created a large following of consumers who are always trying to keep up with its latest models.

The increased frequency at which consumers replace their old models for new ones is changing the perception of electronic devices from a kind of "durable good" to something that is "disposable." This has led to a lot of unnecessary waste of labor and resources, which is the main reason behind those sweatshop and pollution accusations.

The addiction to technology is another negative effect caused by the technology innovations led by Apple. Such technology slavery is best epitomized by the phenomena of the so-called screen generation and smartphone addicts.

As the population of the screen generation and smartphone addicts gets increasingly larger, society is losing its attentiveness, patience and warmth. Taking their places are interpersonal indifference, a fast food-style way of learning, and detachment from the real world.

Such a development is a far cry from Jobs' objective of positioning Apple "at the intersection of technology and liberal arts." (Editorial abstract -- April 25, 2012)

(By Y.F. Low)