When reading chapter 2 from the Media Ecosystem, I was very drawn into the section about how tech companies like Apple distance themselves from the problem they are causing and create an illusion in which their products are necessary to all. In reality, they only care about their brand and maximizing their profit, regardless of how this goal affects communities worldwide.

During Steve Jobs’s reign at Apple, environmental and worker concerns were often rejected for the sake of expedience. Yet these devices are marketed as something pure, a force of good, a means to connect with one another, a form of personal expression, a conduit of cultural citizenship, a necessary product for the advancement of civilization.

Furthermore, it’s a reminder of how the environment will be affected by similar behaviors. Technology takes an important role in our society and that is only going to increase as time goes by. Technology “is the future,” and as such, tech companies will continue competing with each other to launch products. Like Apple, their desire for success will be prioritized over the effect of their actions on communities, the environment, etc. As someone that will be working in the SF tech industry this summer, I hope to be able to continue discussing this in order to bring more awareness about the issue.

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2 responses »

  1. kristenhong says:

    While many large corporations like Target and Starbucks promote corporate responsibility and worker’s rights, you also hear about poor working conditions and employees being mistreated. It would be interesting to do more investigation into this side of large corporations.

  2. lenapearlcole says:

    It is so important to spread awareness of the companies we cling so dearly onto and their detrimental actions that they take on both the environment as well as the people they employ to create their products. The quote on page 44 really struck me…
    “Given a choice, they’d rather sell you an app for democracy than actually build a democratic society that is ecologically just. Consider the typical smartphone, with its environmental and labor costs externalized and borne by folks less lucky than the average user. These phones are made possible through the extraction of conflict minerals (such as coltan or tantalum) in Africa, fueling civil war, rape, and child labor. Its components contain highly contaminating chemicals. After being assembled in China by humans that have been turned into machine parts, it is shipped overseas with atmosphere-contaminating emissions. Its components, when disposed of, poison workers and water supplies and cause air pollution. As a portal for our attention, we pay a heavy financial price…and environmental and worker concerns were often rejected for the sake of expedience. Yet these devices are marketed as something pure, a force for good, a means to connect with one another, a form of personal expression, a conduit of cultural citizenship, a necessary product for the advancement of civilization. All of these cultural by-products are certainly meaningful, but decontextualized from the circuit of energy consumption and waste, these cultural attributes become moot.”

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