Cambridge Analytica, fake news, Musk tweets… 2018 was definitely a tough year for optimists in relation to technology. But there is always hope when we look at the potential for good that technology can bring. In fact, the good that can be done with the devices we use every day has the potential to overpower the bad news. It’s 2019, and we’ve got good news: your gadgets have more to give.
Why we’re lashing out
Much of the reason for this recent techlash has been due to the negative impact we are seeing on the first fully-digital generation. As the kids who have never known life without the internet are becoming adults—even having kids themselves, in some cases—the rise in depression, a new form of bullying, and all the data security scares are pushing them to be nostalgic for a time they never knew: a time without technology.
While a bit extreme, this kind of rejection of technology for children has some merits. After all, we have been able to live without smartphones and YouTube since the beginning of time, why shouldn’t we go without these devices? But, with this technology becoming more integrated with anything that can hold a processor, what is the sense in burying your head?
There are plenty of ways that you can use technology for the benefit of the next generation, not only in approaching how you handle digital behavior, but also in helping bring digital devices to underprivileged communities. In fact, that’s something you can do with those IT assets you’ve been looking to dispose of.
Improving lives with technology reuse
You’ve probably heard we only use a percentage of our brainpower, well the same is true for the digital devices we work and play with. Think about it: do you really get all that you can out of your tablet or laptop (technology a thousand times that of what sent men to the moon)? And after the hard drive gets full or it’s lost its use for your business, that doesn’t mean there isn’t still plenty of life left in those circuits for someone else to use.
Donating technology—especially used technology—is not only a powerful way to boost your sustainability Karma, it’s also a singularly effective way of empowering disadvantaged youth. In other words, giving your retired technology to good causes allows those individuals and organizations to leverage huge potential benefits—even more than cash or other kinds of donations can.
The majority of the devices we facilitate the donation of, through our GoodTogether program, eventually go to the service of children. Either directly, like with our Santa Rosa donations in 2017, or indirectly, like with many of the organizations that request devices. As many of those organizations are helping downtrodden or underprivileged communities, kids gravitate to the technology.
But be careful, you might find you like it. In fact, looking at technology with a sustainable lens brings new possibilities even to defunct technology. Everything from wall clocks to jewelry can be made using the technology you might be considering tossing. And anything you make from, or with, technology that was heading for the landfill (or some recyclers) it is far better than the alternative.