Your Old Cellphone Is Murdering the Third World
Americans replace their phones every 18 months. Europeans upgrade almost annually. And neither of them holds a candle to Japan, where it takes just nine months for a person to deem their handheld supercomputer so arcane and primitive that it may as well have a cord and a crank start. Similar stats exist for laptops and tablets, which is great news for the companies literally telling us to destroy our phones and laptops so we can justify buying shinier ones to play the exact same game of Candy Crush. But you know who doesn't think it's such great news? Mother Nature and her unpoisoned body.
"Oh please; like she wasn't full of magma and fire ants already."
This year, the number of cellphones in use will likely exceed the number of people on Earth, which is ... weird, right? Are there mole people with cell reception? Regardless, this means that pretty soon there will be more discarded cellphones than there are people on this planet -- and guess where most of them will go. Now, if it were just a question of having to wade through a sea of discarded Motorola Razrs to get to work, that would be one thing, but the physical size of these gadgets is dwarfed by the density of the harmful crap they contain. Contrary to popular belief, these magical little boxes don't actually run on fairy dust; a toxic metal cocktail fuels all that Snapchatting and Instagramming. And when old electronics aren't properly recycled, they tend to leak those hazardous guts into our soil and water. In China, improper disposal of handheld electronics has already tainted countless tons of rice with cadmium, chronic exposure to which causes kidney, liver, and lung failure. And cancer. And osteoporosis. The list goes on and on, and sadly not one item on it is a superpower.
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Unless you count moving at super-speed toward your own mortality.