Today I read this article detailing poor work conditions at Apple suppliers. Since I own an iPhone myself, I share some sliver of responsibility for the pretty horrible conditions experienced by (at least) hundreds of thousands of workers. Rather than stewing in the self-satisfaction of my moral judgment, I decided to try something new and actually do something (very very very small) to live the change I wish to see in the world.
As a good capitalist, I believe that corporations don’t change their practices (good or bad) without economic incentive to do so. Thus, I sent Apple a comment indicating that as a customer, I was disturbed by this behavior and would not be purchasing a new iPhone if the conditions were not ameliorated. The form this comment took was an entry under the iPhone feedback form, which I doubt Tim Cook reads personally and might very well be simply discarded by whatever customer service representative happens upon it: As social protest goes, it’s not exactly chaining myself to a tree. On the other hand, it might not be thrown out, it might live on as an entry in a spreadsheet ticking off how many Apple users have complained about factory conditions. Maybe if that number’s high enough it will provide an incentive to change. Maybe it won’t. Either way, I figured it was better than my usual judgmental silence.
If you also own Apple products and are interested in registering your disapproval in an unobtrusive, low-energy, and low-effort way, here’re the feedback forms for the iPhone, iPad, and MacBook (depending on which products you own). Below is what I wrote in case you’re interested in using the basic structure and changing the details as appropriate (or in just chuckling at my self-righteous delusionality):