Close this search box.

The Impact Of Planned Obsolescence?

My late mother and father, Fran and Al, bought me a small refrigerator for my office as a gift when I opened my medical practice 32 years ago.  That small refrigerator is still working beautifully 32 years later.  Wow…if every refrigerator and other appliances lasted for over 30 years, GE, Whirlpool and other manufacturers would go out of business, as they would not be selling many new appliances.  The more complicated, newer appliances with more “bells and whistles” certainly seem to break down much earlier…almost as if this is purposefully intended by the manufacturers to have us “buy new” as the older models become obsolete.

I remember hearing many of my older relatives complain of needing to get new car tires every 30,000 miles:  “ THEY can land a man on the moon yet THEY cannot make a tire that lasts more than a few years?”.   So, here begs the question:  Do companies make their products capitalizing on the concept of “Planned Obsolescence”?  (Hereinafter I will use “PO” as my erratic writing at 430 am is sure to botch the word “obsolescence” numerous times.)

Well, think about software, the newest version of I-Phones and similar technology: We always seem to require buying new, updated plug-ins, chargers, etc to conform to these new versions.  The “old” stuff is obsolete.  Clearly, Apple, Microsoft and all of the other companies are heavily into “PO” as this makes them lots more $$$ as we need to ditch the old and buy the new.

Let’s take the concept of “PO” to the human body. 

Clearly, if all humans did not have an “expiration date” our world would not be able to provide enough food, water, land etc. to keep everyone happy.  So, we were developed, to some extent, under the concept of “PO”.  Our hearts, brains, kidneys, joints and other vital organs have a certain “lifespan” and cumulatively, this adds up to how long our lives will be as well as the quality of our lives from a health standpoint.

Okay, you knew this was coming so here goes: Successful weight control will thwart/delay the “PO” that our maker (I will leave it up to you to decide or believe who/what that “maker” is) sort of intended for us.  Keeping that weight under control will markedly increase the odds of the vital organs performing well for us way past the “average” duration seen in the actuarial tables.   Much like the Al and Fran’s gift in my office that has lasted way past the “usual”, achieving and maintaining a healthy weight will position our organs for doing the same.

One more point in the medical field:  Seeing private practice, solo doctors like me disappearing either through retirement or selling out to the “Evil Empires” ( I did NOT disparage any hospital systems!) makes me think that “PO” was built into the medical system. However I plan on being the “Energizer Bunny” and keep on going and going and going!

2 Responses

Other Blogs