This American Life Exposes the Dark Side of Our Tech

It's not news that This American Life is one of the best shows on the radio. But this week's is especially compelling. It tears back the curtain on how the gadgets we use every day are made. If you use any Apple product, you need to hear this. If you use any Dell product, you should listen to this. If you own any electronics made in China, you need to hear this. Listen after the jump and join the conversation below ...

Listen to the episode below (warning: contains some bad language)

  1. What is your reaction to this?

  2. What should a Christian response to this be?

  3. One of the most difficult parts of the episode to listen to is theportion about the chemical that is used to clean all iPhone screens. Are all of us who own iPhones implicated in this fact?

  4. What are real steps we can take to change this?

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    If technology is now a need (not a want) in 21st-centuryAmerica—particularly if your job depends on it—how can ChristianAmericans be good stewards and upholders of human dignity while usingtechnology?

Weigh in below. We'd love to hear your thoughts.


Travis L Christians


Travis L Christians commented…

It sounds like our addiction to tech is more costly than our addiction to oil..


NickQuinn commented…

This makes me incredibly sad. As an owner of an IPhone, it was very hard to listen to. I am not opposed to boycotting or protesting, but I am much more amenable to "positive" action, as I think others are. I would say that one thing that we can do, if we have the opportunity to, is to support pro-education and human rights organizations active in those parts of the world. A major problem with the sweatshots is that all of the money that is being made due to their work is being funnelled out of the country. I worked in Guatemala for a short time and I saw that a large part of what was helping those who worked in the maquiladoras were small business loans to pump some of that money back into the country and schools that educated adults, who had worked in the sweatshops since they were kids and who never completed school. Of course, groups that encourage and give the kids opportunities to stay in school are also good. With education, the workers are able to campaign for more rights and look for better opportunities.


Anonymous commented…

See, I agree with the fact that we are just way too addicted to technology and consumerism. Any Apple or video game console release would prove that. I also agree that I'm not sure this proves there needs to be a Christian response like you said. I think it's more of a conscience decision of the products we purchase on a regular basis. I believe there is definitely more that meets the eye as you've shown here. Mike Daisey is just one account; this is another. Overall, I think we need to be more conscience about our foreign trade and that's a national problem. We rely so much on foreign production and that stems all the way down to a multitude of problems from our own government and American businesses regardless if this is seen as more of a cultural issue or humanitarian issue.

Emily W.


Emily W. commented…

I think that it would be wise of us to generally give the benefit of the doubt to the victims rather than their supervisors.



J J commented…

Foreign trade is not a problem as some politicians try to make it seem. Foreign trade helps people make money in both countries. How many people make money because things are made in China and not America? MILLIONS of people, lots of Americans! The only $ going to China is the cost of production, when most of the profit is being made by Americans. The company that ships the item, the dock worker in America, the person loading the truck, the truck driver, shop owners and workers that then sell these products and can make a better profit, as well as all the businesses that they support with their income. It affects everyone on a positive level here.

China has become better at manufacturing because Americans won't do these jobs. People say they would, but only because they have no job. China has the infrastructure and resources to make many things that we don't because people don't want to do these jobs

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