When electronics break, as a disgruntled owner you are left with a few options. The first would be to recycle or just throw it away. Even if you are reimbursed at a scrap yard, as the precious metals used in electronics are highly valued, it will be at best a fractional return on your initial investment.
Now if you’re a glass half full kind of person, you may simply view a broken electronic as an excuse to upgrade and buy a replacement. But seeing as how 46% of Americans cannot afford a $400 emergency (or roughly a mid-to-low-end phone or computer) it might not be prudent for your budget. The alternative, then, is to get your broken item repaired. There’s actually a few compelling reasons to do so.
Your Fix is Probably Simple if it’s Software
So your electronic item is “bricked” or otherwise seems to be having hardware issues that render it next to useless. It is possible, in some cases, that the culprit may be faulty software. While not always true, any repairman worth their salt may also have the ability to reboot your device’s hard drive. At the worst case this can mean losing a number of personal files, but in all the process may take a few hours or even minutes depending on the problem. A number of programmers have specially designed repair tools for this purpose, and it’s always worth the shot if you suspect the origin to be something that you might have downloaded recently. This becomes more of a “refurbishment” than a repair, but you’ll still probably come out ahead.
Hardware Problems are Often One Broken Component
A game console or phone that might not turn on at all could simply be one crossed wire in a single piece of the device. Everything else might work fine, and replacing the broken part is almost definitely cheaper than just buying a replacement. This might not always be true (you could have an old motherboard, for instance, that is not in production anymore and might need to be custom ordered or scrounged on resale websites), but odds on favorite is that you aren’t the only person to experience your particular breakdown, in which case the manufacturer has probably heard the issue before and makes sure to produce excess.
It’s Environmentally Sound
Reduse, reuse, and recycle are the tenets of recycling, but lately most of humanity is falling off the bandwagon in terms of electronic waste. With the ability to build over 4,000 Eiffel Towers with all the junked computers, phones, and chargers every year, it can’t hurt mother nature to opt in for repairing and reusing broken electronics.
On top of this, The Restart Project, a nonprofit that encourages people to extend the life of their electronics by even a few months, calculates the most pollution from electronics comes from their manufacture, before they even hit shelves. Maintaining yours reduces its carbon footprint significantly.
Moore’s Law is Broken
You may have heard of Moore’s law, the idea that our computers and processors double in size every two years. Well in the past few years, that idea has been wearing down. Electronics are growing in power slower, which means your old phone isn’t as far behind one released a few months ago as the same gap might have meant ten, or even five, years ago.
This also means computer games, a strict benchmark of performance, now work on much older machines than previously, rather than outracing a video card bought a few years ago. If your computer is 75% as powerful as something more contemporary, is that worth the thousand dollar investment you need to make? Which leads to our final point…
You Like What You Own
In an age where a lot of shopping is done online, if you just buy a replacement device, you might not have an accurate picture of how well it suits your needs. Succumbing to defeat and moving on from what is otherwise a beloved, trusted device and risking a lemon purchase is a risk you don’t necessarily need to take.