Why You SHOULDN'T Upgrade Your Phone

Old Cell PhonesThere is a seemingly constant stream of "latest and greatest" phone technology that comes on the market. Trading out the old for the new can be quite exciting: celebrities sport the newest tech gear like a fashion accessory, so its quite natural to feel "cool" when you've modernized your phone.

According to a recent article from TechCrunch, however, upgrading your phone can have a pretty major setback.

Every time you upgrade, chances are your old phone ends up collecting dust somewhere in your house, alongside more past phones and out-of-date technology (hello, Walkmans... or is it Walkmen?) When you eventually decide to chuck some, hopefully you end up giving it to a technology recycling facility of some kind. Recycling means no waste, right?


Unfortunately, e-waste is ever accumulating. We've seen photos of computer parts being taken apart and re-used rather successfully, but not rapidly. Technological waste started really piling up when Apple moved from using a 30-pin adapter to Lightning - unveiling the iPhone and heralding in a new generation of users who would much rather use a touch-screen smartphone than an older button-based model.

Alongside old phones getting tossed in favor of new technology, the number of unusable accessories to accompany the old phones is sure to be a massive quantity. Many iPod docks and iPad connectors became obsolete, as the devices got slimmer, and of course the 30-pin adapter being booted in favor of Lightning. The majority of the obsolete connectors have been abandoned still in good working condition.

So far, there isn't a good answer for the rapidly accumulating technological waste. Take a look at this slideshow from Network World to see how much tech-waste there really is.

Old Electronics Don't Die

What can we each do individually to help? Try:

  • Sitting out an upgrade cycle.
  • Looking up creative uses for your older technology
  • Donating slightly outdated but totally functional older technology directly to schools in need

Or, if you have a real upgrade problem (like our own Chief Geek) sell your old device on eBay or Craigslist to someone who will use it! Just make sure to ask them to recycle their old phone! With some creativity and a conscious effort in waiting a little while to buy, perhaps we can make a difference.

Jason Finn

Founder & Chief Geek

Jason has nearly 20 years of consulting experience, predominantly in the technology space. Most recently he was the COO and Director of Technology for Rich Casto & Company, a national training and consulting organization in the real estate industry.
As a consultant for IBM, PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP, and Envision Consulting Group (now IMS Health), Jason has served clients of all sizes, including Big Pharma, Fortune 500, and Global 1000 companies:

  • Allstate Insurance Company
  • AOL (America Online)
  • Astellas Pharmaceuticals
  • Eli Lilly and Company
  • Ford Motor Credit
  • Wockhardt USA (formerly Morton Grove Pharmaceuticals)
  • Norwich Union
  • PNC Bank
  • Reynolds and Reynolds

Sarunas Budrikas

Creative Director

Sarunas is a web design and development expert with hundreds of successful projects in his portfolio. He is passionate about delivering extraordinary user experiences for every client and consistently goes above and beyond everyone’s expectations. As an SEO expert and strategist, he can optimize your website, or app, to get the most out of it, day in and day out. Sarunas holds a degree in Electrical Engineering from Kaunas Technology University, in Lithuania. Sarunas now lives in Chicago, and calls it home.

Alexandra Olsavsky

Client Experience Specialist

Alex specializes in content generation and social media promotion for Geek | Chicago clients, helping to solidify their presence in the online community. This includes blog writing, graphic design, co-ordination and design of weekly newsletters, and active engagement on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and LinkedIn. Outside of Geek, Alex is a classically-trained soprano who professionally performs around the city of Chicago (most recently with the Chicago Baroque Band, and with the Rolling Stones for their "50 and Counting" tour).