I'm no Luddite, but I sometimes doubt whether mobile phones are entirely a good thing. For one thing, there are the inconsiderate jerks who yak away on them in cinemas and other unsuitable venues. (I was greatly embarrassed recently when mine rang while I was sitting in the public gallery of a magistrate's court, although I thought I'd tuned it off.)
Then there is the invasion of privacy: one used to get home and be asked "Where the hell have you been?" Now you can be called up at any time and asked "Where the hell are you?" And of course they give telemarketers another channel for bothering people.
All of which is by way of introduction to the fact that the Nokia phone I've been happily using for the past few years was becoming harder and harder to switch on and off. Finally I decided the switch had had its day, and took the phone into the Nokia service centre in Causeway Bay. There they took one look at it and instantly declared it too old to fix - "no spare parts". Of course they suggested I trade it in on a newer model.
Hmmm - why would I want to buy a brand that breaks down and can't be fixed? Maybe I should try a Sony Ericsson instead - after all, I've got a Sony TV that's still working fine after 15 years or so.
But really I don't want a new phone at all, just for this one (for which I only recently bought a new battery) to carry on working. I'm not a gadget freak who salivates over the next generation iPhone or whatever. My eyesight is crap, so i don't text muxh and I need a decent sized screen. Most of the newer phones have keyboards too small for my large fingers. I have a PC for Internet access, an MP3 player for listening to music, and a digital camera for taking photos, so I don't need those features in my phone - am I the last person in Hong Kong who just wants to use his phone for voice calls?
Given the number of old phones being discarded, is there any third-party repair service that can cannibalise another phone for the part I need? Or do I just have to resign myself to buying a new one? And how do I choose from the thousands on the market?
One more thing: if I need to buy a new phone, how do I dispose of the old one in an environmentally responsible way? And how many old (but often still functional) phones end up in landfills rather than being recycled?