Remember the old days, when companies used to actually REPAIR things? These days, unfortunately, we seem to live in a throwaway world. Think about it . . . have you taken the time to repair a printer lately . . . or perhaps another small technological or household item? Even big items such as televisions have a much shorter life span than they used to . . . we’re simply encouraged to get a new one.
In this green era of recycling, it’s odd that the paradigm of mending and fixing is practically over. Consider even a nice product such as the iPhone®, which is not inexpensive. And yet if your iPhone breaks, try taking it into the Apple store for one of those ‘repair’ appointments they offer. After looking at your phone for a few minutes, the Genius bar rep is likely to offer you a new phone. I know—it’s happened to me several times now.
Last night, I tried in vain to get the Genius bar reps to actually REPAIR my iPhone. “I don’t want a NEW PHONE,” I told them. “I’d like you to fix THIS PHONE.” I caused quite a stir . . . the reps looked at me oddly—this was apparently not in their ingenious vocabulary. There was not one viable channel through which I could get my phone fixed—unless I used an unauthorized company that works on iPhones . . . in which case, I would VOID my warranty for good.
Really, is Apple serious??? I wrote to Steve Jobs about my experience, but he didn’t write back. Imagine that. What a disappointment.
Now you may wonder WHY I didn’t want a new phone. First of all, my phone is less than 2 months old, so there is no perk in getting a new one. Secondly, I haven’t backed up my phone during the past week. Backing up the phone regularly is a real pain. For all of the perks of the iPhone, iTunes® remains an unpleasant program in my opinion. But during the past week, I took many photos of my Jack Russell terrier. She died just a day before my iPhone stopped working, and I did not have the chance to back up my phone.
As you might imagine, those photos are important to me. Unlike the shiny little iPhone itself, they are irreplaceable. Even a child knows that replacing a broken (or injured) toy is simply NOT the solution for everything. What is beloved—whether tangible or intangible—is precious, and at times irreplaceable.
So . . . it seems that our relationship with products has shifted—we’re almost encouraged NOT to expect them to last very long. And yet those products often become a core part of our lives . . . a vital record of our emotions and security, which makes it a MUST in our day-to-day processes to incorporate backups . . . even using software to manage our passwords or backing up our computer files in the cloud.
Anyone who’s lost data or didn’t have access to it exactly when they needed it, knows too well that having your back means backing it up.
After spending a portion of my Sunday afternoon in some guy’s garage, metal music blasting (I found his information on a roadside sign), my iPhone is totally fixed. Apparently there was a small part that was slightly skewed and needed an adjustment, nothing major at all. So I still have MY iPhone, with all of MY photos. I got lucky this time.