We're at the mercy of our electronic devices these days, and not only because they're constantly distracting us.

Our utter dependence on gadgets makes breakdowns all the more costly and inconvenient. Advocates of the Right to Repair Law, proposed in New York and other states, say they want the right to fix their own devices, but that Big Tech won't allow it.

On Jan. 21, advocates said, "This year, New York could be the first state in the nation to pass the Fair Repair Act. We have a chance to guarantee our right to repair electronic equipment — like smartphones, computers, and even farm equipment. We have a chance to protect local repair jobs, the corner mom-and-pop repair shops that keep getting squeezed out by manufacturers."

They say manufacturers, like John Deere and Apple, are standing in the way: "When your tractor breaks or your cell phone stops working, they want to be the only people who can fix it. And they get to set whatever prices they want for parts and service."

So far, manufacturers have stopped Fair Repair legislation before representatives had a chance to vote on it.

"We’ve got to be louder than their lobbyists," advocates say.

They point out that Right to Repair isn't a new concept, which is why you can take your Ford into a local mechanic.

"They have all the same software diagnostics and service manuals that the dealerships have," advocates say. "This is the result of decades of auto Right to Repair legislation — laws that have been a resounding success."

For more information visit http://states.repair.org/states/newyork.

To see the proposed bill brought before the state senate, visit legislation.nysenate.gov/pdf/bills/2017/S618B.