Debating your Device

Today in class, I participated in a semi-formal debate about the ethics of purchasing phones and other cheap technology when their cheapness is enabled by exploitation of slave labor. My group discussed how not buying cell phones and technology created by slave labor would be ineffective. We came to an agreement that not buying these necessities would not be a good idea- the more advanced and efficient way to solve this awful and abusive work conditions would be to create a democracy within a group and overturn this. Making this a social movement would be more effective than not buying what they are making- they will produce the stuff in the factories even if we don’t purchase it because other people and places will.

According to John Gastil, an important communication scholar, “Democracy connotes wide ranging liberty, including the freedom to decide one’s own course in life and the right to play an equal role in forging a common destiny.” The “common destiny” that Gastil refers to is the ultimate goal a group defines when created. It is important to appreciate democracy, which is not only an important player when working among others, but needed to work in a team. Without democracy, tasks would not get accomplished. People need to learn how to work together in order for a group to maintain strength. Individuals must share a “common destiny” in order to succeed in a team.

This being said, the most effective way to make a change to terrible work conditions and work ethics is to form a group and petition against it and bring it up to our government. Freedom of speech and the use of efficient democracy will be the leader in the way we all make a change.

In High School, we watched a video (linked below) regarding how the spread of media can raise awareness to this cause. This video has been spread world wide and has been a leader in the way American’s view and purchase products. The creation of social media has lead us to many movements that have reached success. Perhaps if we brought this upon social media we could make a change.



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