It is in this new age we live in that questions regarding the ethics of expansion will come to light. The irony, of course, being that the people considering this ethical debate can remain blissfully unattached to it. I am, perhaps, the perfect example of this. As I write, trying to determine my relationship with technology or the effect Mr. Daisey’s monologue had on me, I sit nestled under a blanket, typing on my own MacBook Pro with my iPhone 4 resting by its side like a faithful companion. Two Logitech speakers transmitted Mr. Daisey’s words to me, because I like my volume just a tad higher than what my MacBook Pro allows, and when I fall asleep tonight, it will be after reading part of a book on my brand new Kindle I got for Christmas. Yet, I am the one, sitting, weighing the horrors occurring in Shenzhen against the benefits of an expanding technological era.
It is no wonder then, how so many people can remain so delightfully ignorant towards the plights of those who build our magnificent products. Because the products themselves are, in fact, so beautiful. While I cannot pretend to know the inner workings of any of my Apple gadgets, if the outside is any indicator of what is underneath, it is magical. Their sleek, silver exteriors seem effortless, and it feels as though you are part of some grand presentation the first time you see that tiny apple light up. Surely, something so sleek and effortless cannot be associated with something so tragic? Which is why so many people remain in the dark.
Even after stepping out into the light, we do not truly belong because we will never share in the same experience. It is a rare case that Mr. Daisey ventured to visit the actual location. Rare, that the images online so profoundly pushed him into action. Yet, I note, not enough to make him get rid of his Apple products. This is where the true question lies. We are in an age where questions about the ethics of expansion are emerging, but in the end, they are only theoretical debates. It has been shown that the costs of making Apple products in the United States are unreasonably high. So where can we go from here? The images coming out of Foxconn’s factories present a picture of life I would not wish on anyone. Yet, I can’t pretend that I will stop using the technology that has made my life so much easier. No one recommends giving up their current situation, limiting themselves to a single Apple product, or downgrading to the previous generation.
Which is why I can think about this dilemma all night long, but in the end, do I really have any right to? And if I don’t, then who does?