We live in a consumerist society and many do not know or care what the real costs of what they buy are. Consumers tend to only consider the cost of purchasing or repairing products and they are buying and discarding electronics products, particularly mobile phones at an astonishing rate. This time of year invariably sees a sharp increase in electronics buying.
The key to changing consumer behaviour is to raise awareness of the wider costs and hidden impacts of buying mobile phones, with the aim of changing the way people think and act. Social media presents a potentially effective way of getting people talking about these issues. Facebook, Twitter and blogging are all ways of doing this. Social media’s online presence also enables the success of interactions to be measured.
The most important measure is to establish whether any of those interacting will actually take action towards solutions, by recycling their mobile phones responsibly, lobbying Government to strengthen legislation or contacting businesses to change the way they do things.
The goal of getting the messages into social media is to educate and motivate consumers to change their behaviour. People need to be informed on what they can personally do to reduce the impact of electronic goods, especially mobile phones and also how they can get involved in initiatives.
One of the most effective levers for change is for consumers to use their purchasing power to persuade businesses to improve product design, thus improving buying choices. Pressure can also be put on politicians to improve e-waste policy.