Friday, September 23, 2011

Pardon my language

I want to listen to music and surf the Internet on my 10-year old computer -- but I fucking CAN'T - because it's ten years old!

Oh - then, can I read my e-mail on my cell phone like all the cool kids? No, you fucking CAN'T - because your cell phone isn't a SMARTPHONE, and you can't read e-mail without a contract and a data plan.

Can I run this old software and read a file that I made 5 years ago? NO! You CAN'T! Your software is OLD and it's not compatible with the software we're making now! Upgrade.

I'd like to buy a new cell phone, can I ... NO. The new iPhone5 is coming out and soon, your iPhone 3 will be antiquated and incapable of doing anything but ... making phone calls! HA. You are a captive of your technology.

Sure -- you love your stuff. Your new laptop, your new phone, your new TV; but it's all soon to be replaced by new stuff that is incompatible with your old stuff.

I used a rotary phone for 30 years. THIRTY YEARS - and everybody I called answered the phone. Why? Because the phone was still the phone. We had a television hooked up to an antenna for 50 years. Fifty years! We got all the same TV programs that the people next door got who bought a brand new TV and antenna. How did that work? Because it was TELEVISION!

Then, we got cable. Glorious cable. It wasn't more than a year later that we had to upgrade to a new converter box - and every 6 months after that, a cable guy was knocking on the door to give us a new box. New box after new box ... until, they finally decided to do away with the boxes and antennas and make the whole thing digital. What used to cost us $10 a month (in 1981) now costs $120. Is this progress?

Along comes the Internet. Those beep-bap-beep boxes aren't good enough anymore. Now, you NEED DSL, cable Internet and satellite. What used to cost $19 now costs $45. It's the same Internet, only now the technology changes and we are expected to pay more for the same service.

I want to listen to music while I surf the Internet - but I fucking CAN'T, because my computer is 10 years old and the memory isn't large enough to support the two devices. I would use a CD player, but those were phased-out 5 years ago. If I want something that has enough power to run two things at the same time, I have to buy a NEW computer - and that will cost at least another $1,000. How long before that's obsolete?

We pay a lot of money for things that we never paid for. Television, Internet and telephones. And what are we getting from it? Technology that is obsolete 2 months after we get it home. Are we really happier now than we were before? All these things frustrate us and confound us to the point of making us cuss at them and raise our blood pressure. Would we be any less happy with reliable, free television and old phone service? Who are we talking to on our cell phones? Is it necessary?

Facebook changes their format. Netflix changes its pricing, and millions of people are suddenly up in arms over something that they didn't have or know existed 5 years ago. In the string of time, it's a grain of sand. How can we get so worked up over something that we did so well without? Are we so spoiled that we get angry over losing a cell while we're driving that we curse the cell provider? Is it worth $1,000 to buy a new computer so we can listen to music while we web surf? Do we need 800 cable channels for ten times the price of 100? Are we so wired-up that we need to read our e-mail on our $400 Smartphone? Are we doing anything that can't wait until we get home?

Apparently, the answer to all of those questions is in the money we have already spent on the technology.

I liked it better when I had record albums, rotary phones, 12 TV channels and a pen and paper. I don't know that my life is so improved now, regardless of how much I've spent on it.

I do know that Apple, Comcast, Verizon and Dell are doing very well.


susan said...

So is this the reason you changed your template? Anyway, it looks really good.

For the record I have a Mac Perfoma (like the one you saw on Seinfeld) and it still plays CD's. You can get a nice CD player/box cheap at Target. I got mine there.

Glad you are home with Thor, and healing.

Anthony said...

It was more the increasing frustration with technology.

Thor is sleeping. :)

susan said...

So is Holly. Rainy days are good for sleeping.