Mr. Daisey and the Apple Factory

My relationship with my IPhone is one of the present. I have never thought about where my IPhone came from, who built my IPhone, or even that it had a life before I bought it. Come to think about it, this is the same relationship that I have with all of the products I own.  I have always just associated Steve Jobs with any Apple product, never the many men and women who actually spend day after day creating these products. But why would I? Steve Jobs is the face of the company and a lot of money has been spent to make sure I, the consumer, thinks that way.

I know that a large amount of products come from China and that the working conditions in those factories are anything but regulation. However, I was still shocked to hear about the guards standing in front of the factory, nets along the edge of the buildings, and factory workers under the age of fifteen. The factory appears to have a jail-like atmosphere; the workers seem brainwashed and too young to even be in this situation. These employees are working and living in toxic environments while I, the consumer, am ambivalent to it all.

Hearing about the working conditions in these Chinese factories evokes two very different emotions. I feel both naïve and gullible. Am I naïve in thinking that this does not actually happen or am I gullible in the sense that I am believing the extreme remarks made by Mr. Daisy? Are there really no Apple products in China and would these employees really be so willing to share their struggles with a stranger? Could that man who lost his arm making an IPad still be so infatuated with the product itself? This podcast has left me with more questions than answers as well as an extreme guilt for having the products I have.  I treat my IPhone as if it were a very fragile child, but in the same breath a child could be working in dangerous conditions to make my IPhone.


4 thoughts on “Mr. Daisey and the Apple Factory

  1. Your last line summarizes all of my thoughts about this Podcast! I treat my iPhone like my baby. I have only had one for six months and I keep it in a case, in a small zipper pouch all to protect it. It scares me that I care so much about a phone when a 12, 13, or 14 year old girl could be spending her days slaving away to make the exact same phone. My relationship with my phone isn’t worth the innocence of the children that Mr. Daisey claims to be working in these factories. The podcast also made me feel extremely guilty about these product that I have. I found myself hoping that Mr. Daisey’s account was extreme because it made feel so guilty.

  2. I really like what you said about seeing Steve as the face of apple. Obviously he is but should he really be the face of the countless people that go into making it? This is the same for all of our products which shows the private life we do live like talked about in the Sociological Imagination reading. Also your point in the last paragraph I agree with your sense of being naive. I don’t know what I should believe. We always hear about these extreme conditions but I have thought as them as folk tales to scare us. But is it real? Or is Mr.Daisey exaggerating? It brings me to a lot of questions as well and makes me want more on the story. I want to know more about this issue and from different perspectives.

  3. I get what you mean about feeling naive. We all work so hard to take care of our iPhones, and I’ve personally gotten to the point where I can’t imagine having any other type of phone, even if another product is considered better or more advanced. The connection between us and and these phones is so strong that it’s easy to overlook the concerns regarding the process of how they’re made.

  4. Prior to reading the comments I was preparing a response very similar to Ronjohn’s. Like you both, I see Steve Jobs every time I look at an apple product. Having read the Steve Jobs biography I have to tell you that the man was fairly unstable and was a pretty big jerk to a lot of people. But when we look at the products we still see him as the creative and innovative genius. When compounded with your point about not seeing the factory workers and unfair conditions, it makes me wonder how big of a coincidence this Jobs association is. How much strategy and effort was deliberately placed into creating this subconcious association? How much marketing effort and subliminal messaging must have gone on for us to simply see this man as the be-all end-all of Apple while distracting us from potential issues? And if Apple is doing it, how many countless other companies are as well? It’s kind of frightening, but interesting to think about.

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