With the iPad3 announcement just hours away tech bloggers are preparing for a bunch of negative press coverage from entrenched news organisations and overly ecstatic posts from geeks like me. This seems to be a predictable pattern in the world of Apple announcements and one that most people don't know nor care about. However, while there will be a lot of database space wasted around the world from people with nothing better to do than bitch and moan1, there is one regular pattern that I am not looking forward to: the onslaught of people who intentionally acquire a device with the intentions to destroy it in the name of entertainment.
We see this pattern every time a new product is released, regardless of who manufactures the device, and it's something that gets under my skin more and more with every passing year. Last year it seemed to reach new heights, though, as people stood in line to get their hands on equipment like the iPad only to rip the box open outside the store and smash the unit on the sidewalk much to the horror of those who had waited outside for hours to get one of their own.
It's understandable that people will do anything for a laugh, and what a bunch of characters do with their money and time is really none of my business. What gets my goat about acts such as this, though, is the amount of waste that is involved with these acts of violence. The electronics we use every day are made with finite resources, and exchanged for other finite resources. To destroy something for no reason is to spit on all the time that was spent making manufacturing the machine, and all the time spent earning the hundreds of dollars that device cost. What is done with the ruined device afterwards? Is it recycled? Are non-damaged components removed and employed elsewhere? Something tells me it ends up in a landfill ... resources wasted.
Perhaps I take antics such as this too seriously. I was raised to respect the things we buy and get the maximum value from them at every opportunity. Sure, I occasionally replace equipment before old ones are broken, but never have I destroyed something just because I could. Such actions are childish, and I work too hard for the pennies I receive at the end of every month to even consider a thing.
Hopefully the global recession will hit those who toss money around with no concept of its value so that new devices, be they from Apple or some other manufacturer, are not sent to a landfill because somebody was bored and wanted attention on YouTube.