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Another case of retarded technology - Johnny Jackson

I was in downtown Atlanta the other day when I came upon yet another example of retarded technology - that sort of technology that seeks to make our lives easier, but complicates them at the same time.

A gentleman gave me a flyer, a glossy piece of cardboard paper impressed with high-quality color print.

The flyer basically gives you a web address to a company that buys and recycles various electronic gadgets, if they still have use in them -- or not. The flyer included a list, with graphics, of the types of gadgets that could be recycled. Among the gadgets are cell phones and MP3 players - those convenient mobile gadgets we should be allowed to take just about anywhere.

But let us return to the advertisement. How did I learn about recycling my cell phone or MP3 player?

I learned about it from a flyer - a flyer as mundane in form as some old political pamphlet from the turn of the last century. But this flyer is worth more than the paper it is printed on.

It has color seemingly printed with digital technology on high-quality, glossy paper, and it is being handed out by the dozens to the masses of people who may or may not be interested in its content.

The man hands me this piece of 3.5 -by- 5-inch art, and I take it, just as the handful of others I saw do before me. I take it, figuring it is another one of those religious inspirations. But to my surprise, the colorful advertisement calling for whomever would, to recycle their electronic gadgets.

I am all for that - and I guess I should have paid closer attention to the bigger picture than I did - but I could not help but notice the word recycle on the piece of advertisement. "Recycle" blazon across the front and back of the card.

I think to myself, "wow, are you serious?"

Here I am, holding this pretty little card, that calls to me to recycle something [I assume for the good of the environment, at least, in part]. Here I am, wondering how much of the tree and how many ounces of oil were required to create the work of advertising art that begs me to recycle an electronic gadget.

I wonder, now, how many of those flyers were handed out and how much was really sacrificed to get that message out. I notice things like this every now and then - how good intentions and conveniences in technology often go astray. I thought I would share this instance.

Johnny Jackson is the education reporter for the Henry Daily Herald. He can be reached at jjackson@henryherald.com or at (770) 957-9161.