Planned obsolescence, or the production of goods with the intent for them to fail, generally has a negative connotation, but it is not always a bad thing.

Let’s take technology, for example. The easiest way a company will make something become obsolete is to use cheaper materials. By making the product cheaper to produce, it makes it so companies can preserve more valuable resources, as well as sell products for a lower cost, making them more affordable.

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Now, there is the argument that if one pays more for higher-quality goods, the goods will last the individual longer. However, the rate of technology is increasing at an exponential rate. Within two to three years, most technology becomes archaic with the new programs and software that come out, making most technology obsolete anyway. If, per se, we were to hold onto old technology simply because it lasted for a long time, we would all be walking around with old Nokia cellphones.

By using less expensive materials to make our technological products, not only are we able to preserve more precious materials, but we are also more able to keep up with the technological improvements as they come out.

Russell Fitzgerald

St. George