The culture of planned obsolescence in Silicon Valley is a pernicious mentality.
A policy of producing consumer goods that rapidly become obsolete and so require replacing, achieved by frequent changes in design, termination of the supply of spare parts, and the use of nondurable materials
If you’ve ever bought an Apple product you are familiar with the term. Show me someone who hasn’t cursed an Apple charger change and I’ll show you someone who has accepted the lower standards of American consumer goods. And this includes almost all of us. I’m packing for a trip which requires a laptop charger, an Apple Watch charger, and an iPad charger so it’s in my mind.
I would much prefer we engage in a culture of maintenance and repair. If you aren’t familiar with the right to repair movement I’d encourage you to do so. We may never fully return to an era of simple machines and regular repairs but it’s worth a shot.
My bigger fear is that we’ve come to accept planned obsolescence for our own bodies. If you are older than thirty, I bet you’ve been told by a doctor “that’s just aging” about minor complaints from fatigue to aches. It feels incredibly dismissive and also potentially downright stupid in the age of post-viral illness.
But what if we didn’t have to accept inevitable breakdown? It might not be as simple as a pill and a ten minute appointment to fix some of your more typical bodily degradation, but it’s not impossible either.
I try to incorporate as much personal maintenance into a given day as is feasible. I took a battery of supplements today. I went outside for a leisurely forty five minute walk in the sunshine with my husband. We multi-tasked and ran through our to-do list. I stretched and used a Theragun to work out tension aches. I meditated. I used two devices I’ve got that are kinda woo-woo but the academic literature is promising. I did cold therapy.
Doing personal maintenance every day on your body is how you avoid having a doctor tell you that your issues are planned obsolescence. Don’t accept a lower standards of living. We may age and diseases will continue to ravage us but you can promote better health with simple habits.
And if you want to make an excuse for how time consuming it is, ask yourself how time consuming is it to have a health crisis. How time consuming is a chronic disease manifesting after years of neglect. An ounce of prevention equals a pound of cure. So go drink a full glass of water and stretch before you move onto your next activity.