A Guide to The Right To Repair Movement, By Michael Sanchez
Although the shift may have been slow at first, there’s no doubt how technology has gradually integrated into society. Be it for transportation or communication, what used to take days to make any progress has now been a constant challenge for companies to speed up whatever they can get their hands to. Today, technology has been pushed hard enough that we can now go from one country to another in our chosen route or mode of transportation, or send messages and receive a reply within seconds.
However, out of every piece of technology created, mobile phones are among society’s top five. Anyone can see how versatile this invention is by looking at how it makes communicating with family and friends from miles away possible and playing mobile games powered by augmented reality. Yet despite the fast-paced advancements in technology, the waste (also called electronic waste or ‘e-waste’) it produces is a serious problem for the environment. Because of their versatility, phones have also become one of the root causes of environmental harm.
What’s The ‘Right To Repair’ Movement?
US President Joe Biden has expressed his support for the ‘right-to-repair’ movement as a growing problem. As the name implies, this movement amplifies the belief that consumers have the right to do whatever they want as soon as they purchase a piece of technology in full. Although, this doesn’t apply to mobile phones alone. The ‘right-to-repair’ is also applicable to vehicles and other pieces of technology.
That’s why phone repair companies like Wireless Rxx are important actors in the right-to-repair movement. Providing consumers with a sustainable repair option can drastically lower the negative effects phones have on the environment.
Why Is It Important?
Why would people prefer to have their items repaired when they can buy another one instead? By making a quick stop at respective stores, you can leave with a brand-new version of your broken technology. Opting for repair will likely have you waiting for a few hours up to days to get your item fixed.
While those are sound arguments, the ‘right to repair’ emphasizes the following: cheap alternatives and waste reduction. Replacing a device with only minimal damage can hurt your wallet more than it would do you good. Buying new technology may also lead to dangerous waste disposal habits as you will have to dispose of your old unit in favor of a new one.
Moreover, even the manufacture of these devices is harmful to the environment. Gathering its components requires excessive mining and refining. Because minerals don’t replenish quickly, these manufacturers are wringing the earth dry before moving to another minerals-rich location. Production becomes even worse every time each factory releases staggering amounts of greenhouse gases during the manufacturing process.
So, imagine the damage caused by the continuous production of mobile phones. Add the fact that we have not yet included other devices, such as laptops and tablets, that consumers use daily, too. Nonetheless, consumers and manufacturers still think little of local device repair services.
Are There Any Downsides?
Although Biden approved this movement by issuing an executive order supporting its cause, there are bound to be sectors that go against it. After all, one sector’s gain can be another sector’s loss. In this case, some well-known manufacturers have relayed their concerns about it.
Despite the high-end technological devices they’ve released, this isn’t the only reason manufacturers have become as popular as they are. Aside from selling brand-new pieces of technology, they also make money by repairing broken parts due to their product’s ‘intricate design’ or when consumers buy a new one entirely. As such, if consumers have the freedom to turn to phone repair services, the sales in this sector will significantly decrease.
With this level of damage to their businesses, they’re sure to argue over the ‘right to repair’ movement. This will not only affect sales but may also pose a risk on the exposure of business ‘trade secrets.’ This leads us to another point: gadgets created with a signature. If the process of how this signature is made gets revealed, product knockoffs in the market won’t be far behind.
Regardless, the movement’s advocates also stand with the knowledge that manufacturers encourage consumers to replace their device (despite its fully functioning condition) each time a new model comes out. This behavior, in turn, is slowly killing the planet and its inhabitants.
Final Thoughts on The Right To Repair Movement
The further technology advances, the more likely it is to cause damage to nature. What’s worse is how some manufacturers are likely to instigate this for business stability. Despite the risks, purchasing new products is promoted more than having a still-functional device fixed at a local repair service center. However, the ‘right to repair’ movement emphasizes how this should be much more sustainable for your budget and the environment.
Michael Sanchez is an IT specialist. He’s passionate about things related to technology and science. He is also a freelance writer who writes articles on technology-related topics. Michael enjoys taking pictures, travelling to different places, and playing online games.