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

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

Snapchat

 Find me on SnapChat sam_clattenburg if you’re bored

Technology:  A Pain in the A**

Hate Technology
Hate Technology
I recently switched to using the Google Docs app for my writing, upon recommendation of a friend when my five year old laptop was showing signs of impending demise. I can hear Chief Engineer Montgomery Scott’s (Scotty) voice, “We’re givin’ er all we’ve got Captain! She can’t take much more of this, she’s gonna blow!” It randomly makes this loud whirling rocket engine sound and everything freezes forcing me to do a hard reset while muttering an invocation of cuss words. Hard reset. This is part of our vocabulary now. I love the app because it allows me to back up all my writing, and it automatically saves as you write so your work is never lost, considering I do the majority of my writing on my 5 year old IPad, it makes me feel secure in knowing that I can pick up my work from any device should this crap out too. Now, what I hate about this is that everything is online. So if we lose Internet, like as a society, everything is lost. The other thing that I grow increasingly frustrated with is because we do everything online these days with literally everything from banking, to Social Media, to your job; you have to remember passwords. So many passwords. I’m drowning in fucking passwords.

As a writer, with no publisher (in the traditional sense) like so many of us, just trying to get our work out there and reach as wide of an audience as we can, we have to share our work in as many forums as possible. When I publish a blog post, it goes to Facebook, Twitter, Linked In, Tumblr, Google+, Pinterest and then finally I post it to Reddit. That’s 7 passwords not including the one for WordPress. If you want to use an image that isn’t your own, there’s another password to Pixabay or ShutterStock or whatever site you use.

When I was employed, I worked mostly on the phones. Call Centers. Or what I refer to as, “The bowels of the job industry: Purgatory” . As phone slaves, we had to use several programs daily, each one would have a different password and expiry period. You’d be changing passwords every couple of weeks. “Don’t write these down or tell anyone” they’d stress, but I didn’t give a shit, I wrote them down. I had to. I didn’t want to spend hours on hold with tech every couple of weeks to get passwords reset. Ridiculous. Not too mention a HUGE waste of my time.

Have you ever thought about how much time we spend checking our emails, social media, waiting for pages to load and yelling at our computers, smartphones and tablets when they crash or don’t work properly.

I feel like our lives are being sucked away by these futile and inescapable chores. So not only do we have to do everything we as humans do like work, take care of the home, grocery shop, cook, clean, raise a family, pay bills, but now we have to remember 300 passwords and everything must be documented and shared and liked and backed up. Jesus H. Rodriguez! A day of leisure turns into 3 Facebook posts, an Instagram post, a couple of tweets, several texts or emails, rebooting your computer several times so you can log in to Netflix and watch a movie. Don’t forget to thumbs up everything you watch. Hey why don’t you leave a comment or a rating while you’re at it. For the love of God, the simplest of things can turn into a complicated technological nightmare. I can’t even take a nap without hearing all the different notifications going off on several devices. Sure I keep them on silent mostly, but there was this cat video I had to watch and I forgot to turn down the volume when I was done.

When I was a kid in the 80s we had none of this shit. It was a landline phone call if you had something important to say. We weren’t passive aggressively bringing flattering photos of ourselves to school and leaving them in random places to see if people liked them or not. If we weren’t home, you didn’t reach us. Period. Some people had answering machines but most didn’t and there was no voicemail. I had 2 TV channels until 1986. We got tanned from being outside whenever the sun was out. We played and had imaginations, and the only “computers” any of us had, were the Atari, Colecovision, Vic 20 or the impressive, Commodore 64. We managed. It was so much simpler and less stressful. I can’t imagine how much stress these young kids are growing up with now. Never knowing that freedom of being disconnected. Not constantly being subjected to judgement, online bullying, and the joy of using their brains for creativity rather than simply memorizing passwords and tasks.

If I knew then what I know now I would have never taken that peace of mind for granted. I may have resisted more when welcoming all these “time saving” and “convenient” technological advancements into my life. Once you start, it’s hard to just back off because it has become necessary for everyday life now. Look at the people you might know personally for instance. We all know someone who “Isn’t on Facebook” or “Doesn’t text” and we’re all thinking, “What does that person have to hide?” It’s never, “Oh they just want a drama-free stress-free life”, it’s always “they must be a pedo” or “They must be cheating on their spouse.” It’s become sinister somehow. So technology has made us more suspicious of our friends and neighbors in addition to enraging us and invading us.

I think I can safely say, that I’m not alone in fantasizing about living in a simpler time. I think we all have this love/hate relationship with technology. It has helped in so many ways and enriched our lives in many regards, but I also believe it has not only made us lazier, but responsible for things like the breakdown of social etiquette and manners. People are just plain rude and ignorant to others. It can provide a safe haven for criminal activity to grow and spread, it furthers the lack of individual responsibility if we can hurt someone anonymously. It promotes and glorifies shallow lifestyles and shit that doesn’t really matter. It tells the weak minded and uninformed what to believe or be outraged at.

If I had to rate my involvement with technology I would give it only 2 stars out of 5. If I had to leave a comment it would read;

Not A Great Experience
Thanks for the instant communication. I really enjoy the wealth of information at my fingertips it makes me look like less of a tool when I interact with other humans. I really love the memes and gifs, and YouTube and Netflix are swell. The rest of it though, is absolute bullshit.

Fed Up,

UptightSparklePantsCakeLover74

 

Live Humbly, Be Charitable, Live Graciously,
Sam

Image courtesy of
http://gamesplanet.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/11/5-Ways-To-Manage-A-Planned-Website-Outage-Without-Annoying-Your-Customers.jpg