The demise of quality?

Maybe I’m just turning into a crotchety old man, but lately it seems like the quality of ‘things’ has gone downhill. I’ve had multiple examples of things that just don’t work as long as they should, compared to the items they’ve replaced. This doesn’t just seem to apply to technology either.

For years, my day-to-day running socks, as well as casual work socks, have been inexpensive C9 brand socks from Target. Much of my day-to-day running wardrobe has been C9, and I still have a few pieces of clothing that I bought when I started running over 7 years ago. The other day I put on a pair of C9 socks that were no more than a month old, and discovered that they had already developed a tear. This wasn’t a hole on the bottom from over-use, but a seam that was pulling apart.

Then yesterday, my two year old Pioneer stereo/HDMI receiver decided to stop outputting signal. Previous to this device I had a nice Sony ES receiver that lasted me over a decade. I only replaced it because it didn’t have any HDMI capabilities which are a requirement nowadays in home media. So now, two years into it, I need to decide if I’m going to replace or repair this device, when I shouldn’t have had to worry about it. (Update: it started working again mysteriously when I took it to the repair shop, and now it seems fine…)

Perhaps it’s just a string of bad luck, but it feels like maybe things aren’t lasting as long as they should, and maybe part of that is on us. Maybe we’re just too willing to accept that things don’t last that long, and we use the excuse that we want the latest and greatest all the time. Maybe we should start demanding more quality in the things we buy, and insisting that we not have to replace things long before we should. Here ends the rant.

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