An eye for an eye(Pad) makes the whole world blind.
I’ve just seen this incredible news article on ninemsn.com and felt compelled to share it with my Net Comm buddies! You can read the article here (http://news.ninemsn.com.au/world/8256855/teenager-sells-one-of-his-kidneys-for-an-ipad2), but basically the gist of it is that a 17 year old Chinese boy, Xiao Zheng, sold one of his kidneys to a supposedly very shifty, illegal agent for 22,000 yen (US $3,900) so that he could buy an iPhone and an iPad 2. How crazy is that?!!
Image source: http://www.geeky-gadgets.com/china-ipad-2-sells-out-in-four-hours-09-05-2011/
The more I think about it, the more it saddens me. Firstly, of course it’s heartbreaking that this young boy felt that literally selling a part of his body was the only option he had to raise enough money to purchase what he wanted. Furthermore, it’s terrible such organ-trading organisations exist on the black market and that Zheng was able to access these advertisements online. But what is similarly concerning to me is that Zheng wanted these technological devices SO badly, he resorted to such an extreme to purchase them. As the ninemsn article said, Apple devices are seen as “status symbols” in China. It’s not just China though, it’s everywhere. This story alerted me to e the sheer influence Apple’s products have over us, subconscious or blatant. Opening up your MacBook at uni or whipping out your iPhone on the bus home suggests today that you’re modern, cool, sophisticated, affluent, and cultured- everything Zheng clearly wanted to embody. I fear this emphasis on owning technological gadgets as a symbol of status and modernity will only increase as society becomes more and more reliant on technology, Internet, and the products of Steve Jobs.