When the geometry is treated with understanding and respect, they last forever. (I got mine back in 1967 and it is still fine. The aluminium is no longer shiny, but it still works perfectly.)
These blue music stands have lead a harsh and brutal life in one of the primary schools I teach in. The metal is not rigid enough, and the children are too impatient, so they just cram and force and contort the shapes and then it's "Miss, it won't open/close!".
The one on the right was still just about functional but the other two were clearly suffering.
It took a little while, and certain amount of tender manipulation of the tired and wearied joints - I'm talking about my fingers as well as the ones on the music stands - but I finally managed to smooth things out without getting too bloodied in the attempt.
Even so, they are all looking more or less the worse for wear. Hopefully they are not yet ready to be scrapped, junked, discarded. Yet.
So what are these life lessons that I was going on about in the heading? I leave that to you to draw your own conclusions!