When I was in college I took up jobs to complement my pocket money, which was negligible, for two main reasons – to hang out with friends and chill out, and the second reason was to purchase a cell phone in order to keep up with the latest tech trends.
Well my consumerist attitude didn’t stop there, as soon as college was over the easiest thing to do was join a call center, because they were known to be high paying as compared to any other fresher jobs and also easy to get in.
So I went with the flow, got hired with ease into a job that required no brain work and odd shifts. Its a different story that life propelled me out of the job a few years later but at that time its just what I wanted with my easy going attitude. There too I ended up spending my money buying the latest cell phones that would sometimes, cost half my monthly earnings.
It went on until I bought a particular fancy phone that looked really good for its time, but had major call dropping issues. The joke was on me, I couldn’t speak for more than a few minutes at a time. With each call drop my frustration increased, and the thought of spending my hard earned money on something that looked good yet wasn’t of much use, made me realize the worthlessness of it.
It made me realize that I can get done with what I have and don’t need to keep upgrading to keep up with those around me. This was my wake up call, its not always that an incident like this will trigger change. Perhaps one also needs to be ready for it and analyze what they are doing. It becomes easier to make these changes when you already are in a tight spot or you could put that money to far better use.
There is no stopping, the materialistic cycle doesn’t end. Things will keep getting upgraded and if I continue wanting to have a better car, phone or computer it means I’ll always be a slave to the wage. This realization led me not only on a little personal revolution, but also that this choice would have an impact on a global scale. It may not seem like much but this interesting video should help put things into perspective.
Today you would be happy to know that FractalEnlightenment is maintained on computers that I have personally assembled, we use free open source operating systems and share the same cell phone for years together to keep our carbon footprints low.
Although the video above gives you a good insight into the damages done to the ecosystem, it skips out one important aspect, Coltan – the mineral that goes into all our tech products but has a range of problems associated with it. You can read about the coltan issues here.
The truth is everyday the mainstream media just shows us one part of the picture trying to get us to keep consuming. Screens getting larger, phones getting thinner, cameras pushing the mega pixel barrier, computers getting faster but while all this happens, the Earth is getting unhappier with the pillage and plundering.
As usual it comes down to just one thing, we can’t save the planet until we educate and change ourselves. This is your wake up call!