Aging for manufactured objects
In the NYT piece "The Afterlife of Cellphones", Jon Mooallem yesterday wrote about what happened to cell phones after they're discarded. Most of the article deals with methods for recycling and e-waste but the end of it address interesting design concerns of electronic/manufactured objects as it stress how "our affection for many high-tech objects is tied exclusively to their newness. Some excerpts I found pertinent:
"There is no heaven for cellphones. Wherever they go, it seems that something, somewhere, to some extent always ends up being damaged or depleted
“The mobile phone occupies a kind of glossy, scratch-free world,” he says. Whereas a pair of jeans gains character over time, a phone does no such thing. “As soon you purchase it, you can only watch it migrating further away from what it is you want — a glossy, scratch- free object.” You might leave the plastic film over the display for a few days, just so you can take it off later and “give yourself a second honeymoon with the phone,” he says. But ultimately everything that first attracted you to it only deteriorates. You start looking at it differently. “It’s made of some kind of sparkle-finished polymer and it’s got some decent curves on it, but so what? The intimacy comes more from the fact that, within that hand-held piece of plastic, exists your whole world” — your friends’ phone numbers, your digital pictures, your music — and that stuff can be easily transferred to a new one. So you “fall out of love” with the phone, Chapman says."
Why do I blog this? pure personal interest in this discussion about the rush-for-new-objects as well as the role of age on objects. I am personally skeptical about this phenomenon, in the long run.