Activism

International Repair Day Is a Perfect Day for Retail Detox

Apple just announced four new iPhones (despite our pleas), the internet has been flooded with Prime Day ads (and some anti-Prime Day posts), and Best Buy has already started its Black Friday sales. Soon we’ll be flooded with reviews for new iPhones, game consoles, smart speakers, and whatever else the marketing magicians are peddling this season. It’s overwhelming, even if you didn’t plan to buy any of it.

Our suggestion: Take a weekend to detox. Luckily, a great weekend for that is coming right up. Join in on International Repair Day this Saturday the 17th and put some value into what you already have. Make some personal connections. Spend time, not money.

In a world that continually vies for our attention, time is a powerful tool. Those of us with second jobs, or kids at home, never seem to have enough. And while retail therapy can seem like the fastest way to solve a problem, that’s not always the case. Got a squeaky chair? If you get a new one, what do you do with the old one? If you’re anything like me, it’ll sit right next to the new one before you move it to the garage (the cat really liked it). The mental burden is still there, even though the problem was solved. Solved, but not fixed.

This weekend is when you focus on fixes. Maybe early on, stuck at home, you were motivated to redecorate and make a real work-from-home space, but now projects have started to pile up. Take a day off from the grind, arm yourself with some knowledge and get to fixing. It can be as simple as grabbing some Sugru to manage some problem cables or mend small cracks in devices or other items. Maybe you’ve got a queue of tech requests from kids or distant family members. Take the time to teach them, or yourself, the basics of household IT. Both my partner and I have parents with pernicious browser hijackers—no easy fix—but this weekend, no more excuses!

Still searching for inspiration? Let’s conquer that fixophobia. Fixing is for everyone: moms, dads, even muppets. I’m giving you personal permission to switch on Star Wars while you join Han in keeping your own personal bucket of bolts running. Replace your fridge’s ice maker (is anyone else broiling, or just us Californians?) and reward yourself with some Animal Crossing. Fix your Switch’s Joy-Con drift along with our team. We’ve also got a good old fashioned numbered list of ideas for you, just in case. 

Wanna be someone’s inspiration? Share your repair on social media, use the #RepairDay and #RepairIsEssential hashtags, and tag us, too. 

Oh, and the best part? Your repair doesn’t even have to work. Maybe you only get halfway there, maybe it’s a total flop—that’s great! You know more now than you did before. Maybe you inspired the next generation of fixers. At the very least you showed that you own your tech and you’ve got the right to tinker with it. Plus, that item you put off addressing forever now has a conclusion.

Let’s ignore the holiday spending frenzy for just a bit. Spend some quality time with friends, family, and your to-do list this weekend. You got this.