Conflicted


As a devoted Apple product user, I have always tried to avoid the reality behind where my products come from. I have read stories in the newspaper and watched reports on the news that chronicle some of the human rights issues in cheap labor countries like China. They discussed companies whose products I use often, like Apple’s, but for some reason the reports felt distant and didn’t effect me nearly as much as they should have. Mr. Daisey’s presentation of the story, however, changed my view on the matter. I believe that his descriptive storytelling manner and his light comic tone helped make the story accessible. By telling us the story of the worker he encountered who cleaned iPhone screens and her “smart as a whip” sense of humor, he drew the listeners in and made the person seem real and likeable before dropping the bomb that she was only thirteen years old. This type of dynamic storytelling made Mr. Daisey’s story more realistic and helps to explain why this podcast was more powerful than the other news pieces I have come across surrounding this topic.

My emotions after listening to the podcast could best be described as guilty and conflicted. I rely on my Apple products for so many different parts of everyday life that I cannot imagine functioning the way I do today without them. I am sure many other people feel the same. However, following the podcast, I felt genuinely guilty about  how our population’s developing dependence on them is making the problem Mr. Daisey discusses so much bigger. I was haunted by the descriptions of the nets around the building to prevent suicides and the armed guards outside the gates of the factory. We are causing the suffering of so many people because we want the coolest new tech products. I looked down at my own iPhone screen and wondered if that thirteen-year-old girl had cleaned it. Didn’t you?

Another reason why I am seriously conflicted regarding the matter is because I feel like I need more information. I think that Apple’s idea of confidential suppliers is only digging them a deeper hole. Major technology companies like Apple and Dell need to make a statement on this matter and be more transparent or else it will cast a dark shadow over their successes in the technology industry. I believe there needs to be a more serious inquisition into these companies practices; but, until then, I fear I will just remain conflicted.

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3 responses to “Conflicted

  1. You make a good point about the idea of transparency. While Apple is certainly at fault, the need for reform stretches to so many of the companies involved in manufacturing parts. It’s sad that the idea of industry-wide reform seems unattainable, but the sheer number of abused workers make any thoughts of major reforms in the very near future unlikely.

  2. I felt very similar emotions after listening to the podcast. On one hand, I felt extremely guilty about the fact that I have purchased many Apple products and in doing so have unknowingly supported these poor working conditions for factory workers. On the other hand, I feel conflicted because I rely on Apple products everyday and cannot imagine what I would do without them. This transparency that you refer to is so important because Apple’s successes in my mind are currently being shadowed by this serious working conditions problem. The fact that so many workers in factories industry wide are treated so terribly is an issue that the industry really needs to consider. Until this issue gets resolved I will also continue to be conflicted on this issue.

  3. I had a weird feeling while listening to this podcast, not only because of the content, but also because of Mr. Daisy’s delivery. I do agree, as you mentioned earlier about the Chinese girls sense of humor, that it was well told at times. But, other times, because of his approach, I felt as I was listening to stand up comedy. Considering the severity of the situation, I thought Mr. Daisy’s delivery was a little much.

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