When we first got introduced to commercially available cell phones(I am not referring to those bulky power consuming devices of the 80s, I mean the considerably efficient ones that coloured our lives from the mid-90s), we almost couldn’t believe the freedom we enjoyed. We could finally talk to our secret crush without having to explain to any family member what our relationship status was.

The early cell phones had nothing close to the sleekness that even low-end phones of the present day possess, but we loved them. They weathered all storms with us and almost every part of the phones was replaceable. It was possible to have one for three years and not feel the need for another or have to worry about an upgrade that would render it useless(This is a sub to Apple, I hope it gets to them 😊 ). The batteries were easily replaceable and we bought some alongside spare batteries. We really did enjoy the days of those rugged devices that had the essentials.

However, the phone manufacturers kept trying to feed our insatiable desire for more. They added radios, then music players, then cameras, then so much more that we all can’t think of what our lives would be like outside these small devices.

It is a revolution we have no control over and for every new feature, it has become apparent that there is a price to pay.

Fast forward to the present moment and we all can agree that these phone companies have made a pact to slowly arrest our rights. I am not being a cynic. I will explain myself if you stay with me.

THIS IS WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW

The first-generation phones were sold on the promise of longevity. They were made of durable materials that made them worthy companions come rain come shine. The phone companies must have reasoned that durability isn’t so good for their business because they gradually changed their designs. They held us with the allure of more sleekness, they sold us fragile beauties that couldn’t withstand an unintended drop.

Do not tell me how the screens have improved. Can we talk about the irreplaceable batteries and the very expensive cost of repair?

I was in the United States sometime last year and I was told to cough out about $300 to replace a broken phone screen. Of course, I decided getting a new one was a better option. In many African countries, you may not have to pay that much but the parts you are left with are always so inferior that you are better off with a new one.

At a press interview for one of the Chinese cellphone brands, one of their users lamented not having access to accessories that could guarantee longevity especially original chargers which could have saved the batteries from being faulty.The company rep stuttered through explaining how they try to make it available but I wasn’t convinced.

Considering the way phone companies have kicked against the legislation for the Right To Repair, it has become apparent that these flaws are intended. It is a gimmick to keep us all faithful for a very long time

Quick question, how many phones have you had in the last five years?

With every new model we welcome with open arms, I think we have slowly given up our rights to repair. It wouldn’t be long before I start to feel the need to let go of this Galaxy S8. It is the curse of the new century, the conviction that new and more is better.

In all these, I want for you to sincerely ask what about the earth?