D-I-Why Not repair technology

Bricky and Friends

Bricky and friends.

You’ve already met ‘Bricky’, my smart-enough flip phone with the tiny touch screen. Update: It is everything I hoped it would be. It also closes with an endlessly satisfying k’thunk. Which makes it easier for me to literally close that world away, and go look instead at plants and bugs and books and such.

I bought Bricky because I needed a working phone-phone, but I didn’t get rid of its predecessor, a Moto g6. (Even though we never bonded, and my favourite thing about it is still the mushroom sticker I put on the back.) I also didn’t get rid of the phone before that, an Asus Zenfone.

I’ve tended each of these phones so they still work and have a job here. Together, these three kinda-shoddy phones add up to exactly what I want from my technology. It’s like if Voltron was made up of cracked screens and weak motors, but also told you great stories, always had the best recipes, and didn’t bother you while you were trying to sleep.

Sleep is the bailiwick of my Zenfone, on the left there. After several years of hard use, its charging port stopped working. I couldn’t be without a phone at the time, so I replaced it. But a few months and a new part later, I was able to pry the Zenfone open and solder it back to life.

Since the Zenfone is too old and SIM-card-less to cause trouble, it gets a pass on the no-phones-in-the-bedroom rule and lives there. Where it’s still fast enough to play meditation prompts, guide stretches, or play a chill inspiring video or two when the noise and worries of the day are a bit too loud.

The moto g6, right, is the Zenfone’s successor. Because it was in stock, unlocked, inexpensive, and ran Android. But after a few years, the screen cracked, charging and audio got flaky, and eventually it stopped ringing. It held all my calls, whether I wanted it to or not.

The g6 is designed to be unrepairable (boo). BUT I don’t need to repair it for its new job in charge of once-a-week Instagramming, morning YouTube-ing, recipe googling, app testing, and quick camera…ing.

Right-to-repair can’t keep up with planned obsolescence, and the new-new is always calling. But sometimes old+old+old might equal something better. 💚