Please provide any feedback or response to let me know how I could make this Essay stronger. Much appreciated!Link of the world: iPhone from birth to death
Nowadays, with the development of industry and technology, more and more people are using smart phones of different kinds. People can't live without their phones and had to carry them everywhere. They use their phones to text friends, go on social media, check news updates. Cell phone companies, however, try to come up with new designs and ideas to update their products as soon as possible to compete with each other. Therefore, people tend to buy new phones once they come out, even though their old phones are still usable. As a result, people consume more phones and companies make more phones, and more old phones are thrown away. It is not only social media that connects people from every corner of the world. Replacing a phone seems like a small thing but is actually relevant to what is happening around the world. Yes, by buying a new phone, you are participating in a global event.
Take the most popular smart phone--iPhone as an example. What is the phone composed of? The chip, the screen, the speaker, the battery, the software, etc. There are hundred and thousand of spare parts and elements in the phone which is hard to make in only one country due to the limitation of workload and resources. For example, 90% of the minerals that makes the metal in iphone comes from China, and the rest of them come from other countries like congo. America, as the origin of Apple Company, is responsible for its top secret--the chip as well as their software production("Your iPhone: Made in China, Korea, Texas, Kentucky, and ... Inner Mongolia?" ).
China, as we all know, is the biggest country of the production of our daily goods. The country develops quickly in the past recent decades. However, before the era of World War II, China was divided into small region and colonized by different countries such as Portugee, England, France, Russia, German and Japan. During that time, China became the biggest semicolony country in the world. Sun Yat-sen founded the Chinese Nationalist Party while Li Dazhao and Chen Duxiu founded the Chinese Communist Party to try to expel the foreigners out of the Chinese territory. During World War II, two parties united and defeated Japan. However, the alliance didn't last very long. After World War II ended, the Communist Party leading by Mao Zedong fought the Nationalist Party leading by Chiang Kai-shek and replaced it as the greatest party in China. Then in 1949, the Communist Party founded the "New China(PRC)" under its own government("The Chinese Revolution of 1949 - 1945-1952 - Milestones - Office of the Historian." ). One year later, the government came up with the "Movement of land revolution" which forced the landlords to turn in their lands. The government then divided their lands and gave the lands to the peasants for free. This made the government own the right to collect tax from the peasants rather than the land owners. Millions of people died because they refused to donate their lands to the poor. In 1953, "the first five year plan" was carried out in China until 1957. The plan aimed at improving the development of industry and transportation. The central idea of the plan and what followed later was to make the rural area support the development of urban area and most importantly, the industrial development. As a result, in 1958, the "Great Leap Forward" and the "Commune movement" began. People followed what the government said and formed the "community" where they work together, eat together and turned in their crop to the community to ensure everyone get the same thing. Peasant also donate their metal and iron to the community to help the government build railways and other industrial things with their metal. What's more, the slogan to "leap forward" and "outclass the British" made people work even harder toward the high esteem which could not be met. The government could not afford to build more railways and factories, so peasants became very poor and had nothing to eat because they abandoned their land and started to dig up the iron mine when the government said the material for making steel was lacking. Millions of peasants died in the next few years when the natural disasters added to the lack of crops to eat, which also made the poor even poorer. Finally, after the series of drama, the new Chinese leader Deng Xiaoping started the Chinese economic reform in 1978. This was a turning point in Chinese history. The reform opened ports in cities along the coastline and started trades with the world for the first time after PRC was founded. It also started revolution in the urban and rural areas. In urban areas, private company was allowed, and workers could earn more in the factory. In the rural areas, the "community" was abolished, and the government ruled that the country owned the land, but government permitted peasant to farm in the unit of a family and turn in part of what they earned. Government also encouraged farmers to sell their goods to the city. However, because the farmers had not enough information of the price of their goods, their products were often sold in a very low price. Because of the problems and equality in the rural area, the economic difference between rural and urban area became greater and greater. In 2008, the Gini coefficient in China was 0.491, which was very high meaning that there's great difference between economic of rich and poor. Peasants want to earn more, so they go to the city to find a job. But they are not educated, so they can only apply to those which have high workload and didn't require knowledge. For example, workers in Foxconn, the company that manufactures iPhone, worked 10 hours a day to make a life("Riots, Suicides, and Other Issues in Foxconn's IPhone Factories - CNET."). Because the working condition was too bad and the pressure aggregated, several workers committed suicide while others suffer in a bad health condition. Everyone who buys the iPhone should be responsible for the death of the workers. If less iPhone is needed in the world, there won't be so much tension for the workers.
The above countries not only serve as material and labor supplier, but they also serve as the "trashcan" of other develop countries. Developed countries seem to care about recycling, and people are encouraged to recycle all their used devices. However, seldom do people know that the recycling doesn't take place in their own country but is shipped to other countries and disposed. There are basically four main areas of disposal: Africa, China, India and Pakistan ("Where Does E-waste End Up?"). Africa has always been where the economic was very low. Although other countries tried to provide aid to countries in Africa, there was not much progress and difference made.
India and Pakistan used to be the old India under the colonization of England until in 1947, England declared their independence and the two countries were separated. Kashmir was also under the rule of England. But when England left the territory of India, both Pakistan and India wanted to own Kashmir. In 1947, the first Indo-Pakistani War started by Pakistan first sent troop in the land; India followed. Then in 1948, both countries realized that they can't make any progress occupying the land with the interference of the other. So they stopped fighting when Pakistan owned 40% of the land while India held the rest("History of the Republic of India."). Later in the 1970s, India and Pakistan fought again. This time it's over Bangladesh, where it used to be the East Pakistan. The result of this war was that Bangladesh declared their independence from Pakistan. The tension between India and Pakistan is still a problem today. And even though in the past, India tried to evoke their economic by the Green Revolution and Gandhi's reforms, by 2007, India is still one of the countries that has low income. Pakistan, too has a low income of less than 825 dollars per capita income. Both countries were also moderately high with 20%-34% hunger in their country(Tignor, Robert).
Those countries were the so-called e-waste dump sites. While the other countries were considered rather poor, China does not seem to be poor. However, as I've mentioned the above, because of the development of history in China, the income difference between the rich and the poors were rather large. Therefore, the poors had to find other ways to earn money, for example, go to the city and work in high workload factories. The Chinese in Guiyu were really happy about recycling those e-waste because they can earn money without paying too much effort. People in other countries on the other hand, had to do this to make a life. They were not so educated to know that those e-waste are toxic and by recycling, usually burning them, will cause defect in human health. Or if they do know this, they don't have any other choice to do this. Another reason why the US or the Europeans choose to dump e-waste in these countries is that those countries don't care too much about the environment. They are too busy working on the economics to pay attention to how environment changes. It is said that there has been excessive lead in the blood of children who live in that region. Finally, those e-waste lands are attached to the continent and by the coast at the same time, which is convenient for shipping the waste. Now who should pay for the harm to the children in those region? And who will be responsible for the broken environment? Probably those who dispose the electronics and countries that don't want to do the recycle but smuggle the waste to poorer countries instead.
From birth to death, cell phones are closely related to the world, whether from social media or from its production and recycling. In the new information era, the world is just like a village where everything and everyone is connected. This refers to not only the cell phone, but many other things as well: everything you use, you wear and you eat everyday. The phone serves only as a microbe under the scope. It shows how each of us is in touch with global processes that contributes to the quality of our daily life, even we are not conscious about it.