Behold the Smartphone - most Sacred of all Ancient Bricks

Capitalism is crazy when you think about it. The constant push to produce and consume, produce and consume. More and more and more and MORE. Just a continuous machine of output, and to what end? Money? To line the pockets and metaphorical safes (because, honestly, half of this stuff is digital nowadays, anyway) of the few while being forever chased and hungered for by the vast majority of others. And it creates so much WASTE.

Nowhere is this more painfully evident, IMO, than with smartphones. You get a phone and drop a cool thousand or more dollars on it at once- or conveniently spread out over enough time so you don’t feel the acute pain of the funds ripped from your account, just the dull ache of the slow pay-over-time bleed. Then a new phone drops five seconds later, and your shit is old news.

Oh, you have the iPhone 15? Keep up, loser- we’re on the iPhone X47 now. It’s been like three years since the 15 dropped.

And while manufacturers and service providers offer recycling services, we all know that recycling isn’t the Deus-Ex-Junkyard we’d all hoped it would be. So- what happens to those hundreds of thousands of millions of smartphones that get bought, used, and dumped each year? 

I can just imagine the distant future of a ruined Earth. Or, scratch that- a RENEWED Earth. An Earth that’s reclaimed her time (shout-out to Maxine Waters) after humans’ long-needed evacuation. Some alien species will stop by while exploring the Milky Way, cataloging planets with Oxygen and Carbon-rich atmospheres, and they’ll take some time to rummage through the endless piles of non-biodegradable crap that we’ll have left behind. 

What will they find? Most certainly a TON of smartphones.

They’ll be filling old landfills and in the ruins of what used to be homes and gathering places. iPhones clutched in the hands of fossils like indestructible little relics. Will they think them sacred, religious artifacts critical to our worship practices? A means of eating or preparing food?

And we DO use our phones for all those things. But even so, the thought of the proliferation of smartphones littering our planet is more than a bit overwhelming.

Especially when, half the time, we’re using them to watch people do 20-second dances on TikTok or to waste an embarrassing amount of time (and money) playing Merge Mansion.

Hopefully, the aliens don’t judge us too harshly.

Photo by Zachary Olson on Unsplash

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