Less Internet, Please
Remember when surfing the web was a treat? A delicacy almost. You'd fire up the whatever-kilobaud modem and start the pay-per-minute meter running and read about politics on Salon or whatever. A fun time. That's no longer the case, and I'm honestly rotting from overexposure to the online.
There's just too much internet everywhere. Every day it feels like I wake up and something else in my house is connected to the internet. But at first, it was kind of fun. I remember when, well over a decade ago, I got a Blackberry from my wacky college job , and I'd pull up webpages on it not because I actually wanted to read them but because using the internet on a phone was a freaking miracle. When I got an iPhone, years later, I downloaded all the dumb apps that overused internet connectivity and even creepier stuff, like location services. Remember Highlight ? I was glued to that thing for at least one week.
Everything is different these days. My smartphone feels completely useless without an internet connection, as it's become my primary computer. My apartment is riddled with internet-connected devices, including my TV, my lightbulbs, and my home speaker. I have an Amazon Echo and a Google Home Mini, but I leave them unplugged for fear of government surveillance or some catastrophic hack that will leave me homeless after criminals convince the IRS that I've never paid taxes or something. I'm a little bit paranoid.
I'm also acutely aware of the fact that we don't need everything to be connected to the internet. While there is absolutely an argument to be had over whether connectivity is as much a utility as electricity or running water, the Republicans' recent effort to gut the FCC's open internet rules confirm my suspicion that the internet is primarily a no-holds-barred slugfest between various profit-hungry corporations. I simply don't trust Comcast or Google or Amazon or any of the giant companies that control most of what happens online. Every new free service comes with a caveat, and usually it's massive data collection for better serving me ads. So if I don't need to connect my refrigerator to the internet-and I don't-I'll at least keep my eating habits private.
Then there are the
I've gotten ahead of myself, though. It was Amazon's move to turn Fire TV devices into web browsing tools that got me started on this
Anyways, let this weird moment in time serve as a wakeup call. If you're connecting everything you own to the internet, stop that. It's handy to have a smartphone that lets you check your email. It's dangerous to have a camera and microphone in your nursery. It's also stupid to visit websites on your TV. Just watch a movie for Christ's sake.