Growing up in a privileged world, I always wanted to have the latest technology. I remember the day that I received my first iPod. I was in 6th grade, and it was a pink iPod Mini. I was so excited, and I could not wait to go show all of my friends at school. Goodbye to my old Walkman and CDs! I was thrilled. I could now store all of my Britney Spears and N’Sync songs in one place (a very important thing to my twelve-year-old self haha). The following year, a new model of the iPod came out. Nothing was wrong with my old one, but that did not change my desire to have it. This cycle of want and need continues even until today, with the recent arrival of my new iPhone 5.
Mr. Daisey’s podcast describing his intense experience in China was saddening. I have heard terrible stories about labor conditions in China before, but I have never heard a first hand account such as this. Daisey speaks with such intense emotion in his voice that the listener cannot help but be captivated by his words. I feel guilty. The saddest part of this entire situation is that I do not think I can give up my iPhone even now. I rely on all of my Apple products for so many different things, that I cannot imagine functioning as efficiently as I do without them.
Does that make me a bad person? Probably, but change is hard. I am emotionally conflicted. Is it my responsibility to throw out all of my Apple products? Is it my job to protect China’s laborers? Personally, I believe that it is the responsibility of the countries that these factories operate in to make change happen. The obvious problem with this in China, however, is that those who could make change are blinded by their recent exponential growth. Chinese companies have gone into business with American companies, and have become extremely successful from these partnerships. Why would they stop now? This is the unfortunate reality in which we live. Executives are driven by greed, and consumers are driven by want.
The current working conditions in China would never be excepted, under any circumstance, here in the United States. If such a thing was uncovered on our soil, that company would be immediately shut down. I can not imagine having to work seven days a week, for more than 12 hours a day, as an adult–let alone as a child. It honestly makes me sick.