The World Votes to Keep Internet or Scrap it Altogether

Tonight, I asked “C” a hypothetical question.

If all the countries of the world simultaneously held a vote on whether to keep the internet or go back to the old ways, how would you vote? 

Before Internet

We both had to think about it for a few minutes.

I think the internet has had both negative and positive impacts on our society and the way we live.

Being instantly connected, at all times can be both a blessing and a curse.  I can’t possibly be the only one that finds instant this and the texting and the constant barrage of beeps and dings intrusive and bothersome.  By the same token, being able to instantly answer any question you have no matter the topic via a quick web search or through programs like Siri is time saving and convenient.

Having internet and a good device, allows you limitless possibilities.  Convenient ways to network, immediate access to information, easy ways to shop, thousands of games and millions of cat and dog videos.  It’s brilliant!

I was first introduced to the internet when I was in University.  We had computer labs where you could go and check your Pegasus Mail on a monochrome screen.  I remember the first time I sent an email.  Pointing at the little flying envelope icon, I marveled at how simple it was.  It was an easy way to stay connected with other students that you may be doing group work with.  Text messaging was still a few years away at that point and this was as close to instant as we had.

I couldn’t believe how far we’d come as people.  Before email, at best, we could leave a message on their home answering machine and just accept that you wouldn’t be resolving this today.

When it’s being used leisurely, I love the internet.  It’s great.  I’m totally one of those people who constantly check their phone.  I love Netflix and I love that I can take my iPad to bed with me to watch videos until I get tired.  But when you have a job to do, and it’s being slow or your computer crashes or a program doesn’t work like it’s supposed to.  I curse it.  I curse the day it became publicly available.  Which, according to the internet, is August 6, 1991.

Internet and technology certainly has made life more challenging at times.  For example, I spent the last week and a half preparing for our first broadcast on internet radio.  Well, we spent hours and hours learning new programs, searching for good topics, writing out bits and the flow of the near 3 hour show only to learn upon setting up for broadcasting live- our Windows 10 has expired.  Apparently when you buy computers now, it comes with Windows and Office but no one tells you it’s only registered for a year.  After that, you are required to pay $165 for a new activation key for Windows.  What a scam!  We can’t afford that right now and without it we can’t broadcast, do our podcasts or get important Windows updates.  The very thing that has allowed me such an opportunity, has taken it away just like that.  The irony, is bitterly painful.

Despite the obvious nettlesome aspects of virtually living on the internet, there lies a darker sinister element.  The crime, the hacking, the pedophiles, the identity theft, the loss of privacy, the dark web, the cyber-bullying and the way people talk to one another online behind the protection of anonymity.  It’s made us colder, shortened our attention spans, affected relationships and has changed the way we even spend time in person with one another.  It’s made us less trusting and more paranoid.  It’s turning us in to simulated zombies.  It’s confused us with fake news and propaganda.  When we think we’ve become smarter, the internet lets us know with a leak or a whistle blower just how dumb we’ve actually become.

I think that I would vote to go back to the old ways.  If nothing more than to not be hunched over a computer or device everyday.  Do you remember sunshine?  I miss the smell of outside.  Can you remember peace and quiet?  I miss face to face communication.  I miss the bliss of ignorance and not knowing every foul detail of every wicked deed done.

ignorance is bliss
Ignorance is bliss

 

How would you vote?

A)  Go back to the old ways

B)   Keep the internet

I’d love to hear your feedback!

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Live Humbly, Be Charitable, Live Graciously,

Sam

 

Images

Life Before Internet  https://ricardobarroselt.wordpress.com/2016/11/01/life-before-the-internet-a-conversation-lesson/

Freedom  https://pixabay.com/en/woman-happiness-sunrise-silhouette-570883/ User jill111

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Sorry For Trying to People With You

Avoiding People with cell phonesPhones.  They’ve come a long way from their early rotary ancestors.  I am among the many who grew up –pre cellular technology.  It took forever to dial a phone number as it click click clicked to your desired destination.  

I got my first smartphone, a Blackberry, in 2010 and it changed my life.  I spent hours on Facebook, on Twitter, reading, playing games.  It was amazing.  I did however grow increasingly annoyed with the fact that people were now beginning to spend their time together, while in each others’ company, on their phone instead of interacting.  It seemed rude to me then and it still seems rude to me.  Maybe it’s my age.

I’m not going to say that smartphones are evil.  I can’t poop without mine.  You laugh, but you probably can’t poop without yours either.  You’re probably pooping right now in fact.  You animal.

My problem is that it’s quickly become a replacement for human interaction.   My partner, “C” is always on her phone. From the time she comes home until the time she goes to bed.  She’s an obsessive reader and Redditor and fervent Jeopardy World Tour contestant.   Sometimes I try to talk to her and she shoots me the look that instantly lets me know I have disturbed her game and quite possibly, cost her precious points. 

Sorry Babe.  Sorry for trying to people with you

Annoying cell phones
It’s just like that now.  In addition to evaluating a person’s body language to determine whether they will be receptive to conversation, you now have to consider whether they are playing a game, responding to an email, commenting on post somewhere or tweeting.  I mean, if we have to start waiting for people to meet our eyes to start engaging, it’s going to become an awfully quiet world.  The only noise will be that of periodic beverage sipping and occasional chuckles over a meme or a thread or a tweet or, or, or.

Sure, there some very valuable benefits to keeping your phone nearby at all times.  I certainly feel smarter when I can interject a random piece of trivia in everyday conversation. “Actually a yurt is an entirely different building structure from the early Turkish culture which vastly differs from a tipi from Native cultures…”

I can also stay up to date on all the latest dog and cat videos.  I sometimes catch myself looking at food porn or secretly trying to keep up with the Kardashians thinking to myself, “what am I doing with my life?”

Shoutout to Pinterest for all those craft ideas and recipes that will never come to fruition.  An honourable mention to Tumblr for introducing me to Gifs back in 2011.   It literally changed my life.

I’d like to close with a promise of using my phone less but, let’s face it, I’d just be lying.

Are you addicted your smartphone?  What’s the longest you’ve gone without checking it?  

Live Humbly, Be Charitable, Live Graciously,

Sam


Images

Cell phone humor cartoon- https://i.pinimg.com/736x/e9/19/16/e919160d81c7c9a24509d7455cc75771–pet-peeves-funny-things.jpg

Hands and phones image https://www.menshealth.com/sites/menshealth.com/files/styles/article_main_custom_user_phone_1x/public/young-people-dont-know-how-to-talk-to-eachother.jpg?itok=jBvMzIEP×tamp=1490800552

I’m Drowning in Notifications

It’s Sunday (but feels like Saturday with undertones of Wednesday).  It’s a grey humid day and I need tea.  I’m stumbling around after a restless night’s sleep from the sinister torment creeping through my legs from myofascial pain and arthritis, muttering to myself about the good old days and whether spiders are as afraid of us as we are of them like the old lady I am quickly morphing in to.  I am trying to clean out my emails from both accounts and holy shit, the amount of emails is overwhelming.  Overwhelming to the point where I avoid it sometimes so long that it literally takes hours to sift through.  I have to psych myself up to even open it. “Ok, you’ve got to do this, here’s some wine, here’s some Queens of the Stone Age and a big fattie, and.. Go!”

 

Let me begin by saying, as a staunchly anal retentive woman of my forties, I simply cannot understand the need for so much communication.  Before the Internet age and smartphones we never knew what other people were doing at any given point in the day, and that was ok.  We didn’t need to talk and stay in touch constantly.  There was quiet time and face to face time and time to read books.  We even used to watch TV and just sit there, on one channel through the commercials and all- doing nothing!  That seems like a lifetime ago.  The other day I noticed that when I posted on Facebook I got a notification letting me know I just posted on Facebook.  Like, I was there Bitch!  I know!

 

I can’t stand the constant notifications.  I have disabled all of them on my laptop but in case something happens, I have slight FOMO- (fear of missing out) I have not disabled them on my phone although I do, at the frustration of many, constantly keep my phone on silent.  I have PTSD and even the sound of the TARDIS materializing (my notification sound) or the Coronation Street theme (my ringtone) often scares the crap out of me.   My problem is that I can’t stand to see the light on my phone blinking or a red number icon showing on my apps alerting me to notifications.  I HAVE to clear it.  I’m drowning in fucking notifications.  I have taken to turning my phone off at night because of the damn blinking light and my constant need to clear it.

 

The Facebook emails.  The majority of my inbox consists of Facebook, Twitter and WordPress notifications.  These are apps that I am on daily, regularly.  Why can’t I just get notified on the app rather than receive an email, a text, a telegram, morse code and a carrier pigeon telling me someone liked my post/tweet/blog?  I don’t know, maybe there is a way of eliminating all these emails, if someone knows how, please tell me in the comments before I lose my damn mind.

 

It’s a typical Sunday here in Saint John.  I’m playing with this useless Snapchat app that all the kids are using, another time waster and more notifications. The wife is making homemade egg rolls which takes her hours so I am preparing myself for the cursing, the tears, the throwing of things and the eating of the ones that don’t come out perfect.  The pain is bad today so I’m just gonna get vertical on the couch with Lucy the Dog and the Doctor (this past season of Doctor Who for the fourth time), while I think about the good old days and what I would do in the event of a Cyberman attack, oh and clear 600 emails and notifications.

 

How was your weekend?

 

Live Humbly, Be Charitable, Live Graciously,

 

Sam

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