Planned obsolescence

Column by Allison Borthwick, Opinion Editor

We’re living on borrowed time.

In this case, I don’t mean in the sense that we’re all SLOWLY DYING (which we are). I mean we’re living in a time of planned obsolescence.

Our phones function well for about two years – the average length of a cellphone contract.

Our laptops have an average lifespan of four years, even if you treat it well and don’t drop it off your bed every other night while switching Netflix-watching positions.

Video games and their respective gaming systems start glitching and God forbid you can’t play the newest version of Sims.

Trends are as flimsy as the $60 see-through rag Urban Outfitters tries to pass off as a graphic T-shirt.

Our personal favorite: the textbooks that cost more than our fanciest clothing are worth two pennies by the end of the semester because edition 13 trumps 12 on EVERY level (one of the statistics buried in chapter 4 changed).

The companies who make the objects we’ve become so dependent on know what they’re doing – they’re smart.

Why build something that can last well forever when they can build something that lasts well for now?

Quantity of purchases over quality of products, am I right?

They know it’s happening. We know it’s happening. Yet the lines at Apple stores keep growing.

It’s amazing what we’ll do to satisfy our short-term wants instead of our long-term needs.

For instance, we will take a class for the sole purpose of meeting credit hour requirements. A class that costs us money taught buy a teacher who actually cares becomes a place filler in our academic career.

Even if it is a class in our major or minor, we often cram for tests and “read” information in such a way that none of it has a chance of sticking.

Whether we convince ourselves it’s unintentional or not, we plan on forgetting half of the information we learn here at Murray State. Even higher education isn’t safe from planned obsolescence.

Say we do take some golden nuggets of knowledge away from this University – what happens in a few years?

The game changes. New tactics come into play. Google becomes our best friend.

Google search: how to write an opinion column that isn’t super pessimistic. (I’ll let you know when I find an answer to that one.)

Why do people stay in relationships when there is a clear end in sight? There are more tears than laughter, more fights than celebrations and more loneliness than being alone.

None of it adds up, yet here you are – months/years later with no hope for a happy future.

And for what? Just to say you’re taken for the time being?

Rip the Band-Aid off and let yourself heal.

Stop spending hours of your life staring at screens of technology not meant to last, scrolling through news feeds telling you about the lives of people you don’t plan on keeping around.

Live. See. Plan. Change. Plan again.

Happiness cannot be planned. Happiness cannot become obsolete.