November 16th, 2023
Sometimes I like to imagine a world where the internet never matured to what it is now but the rest of technology did. What would things look like if dial up connections were still the best we had but you could walk into any electronics store and pick up a micro SD card capable of holding several 1080p movies? It's a very interesting thought for me. Mailing someone a micro SD card is a great way to send them large amounts of data but instead we just end up with Google Drive links. I want to live in this hypothetical world where connection speeds measured in megabits per second are only available to places with lots of money to throw around. I want to go somewhere and sit down at a terminal and log into The Computer to download some podcasts. I want to receive data by physical mail. Most of all I just want to feel... free.
I don't directly want to say that I feel entrapped by the current state of technology but it's true in more ways than I'd like to admit. I don't like that I'm expected to be available to everyone every waking hour whether I'm at home or away. I don't like how more and more companies are asking, almost requiring me to download their app. I don't like how everything is trying to push me to buy ever newer devices and leave my old ones behind, good for nothing more than scrap metal. I'm writing this on a small netbook from 2008 and as far as I'm concerned this device should be perfectly adequate for at least 50% of computer users. But it isn't. Others look at this laptop and ask how I'm okay with a 10/100 Ethernet port and 802.11b/g wifi. I look at it and wish it had a modem. It's almost alienating.
I often get asked if I'm into technology. I've stopped saying "yes" without explaining myself because it always results in people asking me for recommendations for computers or phones or what have you. At this point when people ask me if I'm into technology I say something along the lines of "yes, but also the processor in my desktop computer is 13 years old and I happily intend to keep using it for as long as possible". They look at me like... well... like I'm me. I don't know how else to describe it. I've never met anyone else who intentionally runs an old computer, let alone exclusively. I'm not doing it to make a statement but it ends up being a statement anyway. It's just the way I do things. It's the only way that makes sense to me. These computers, as configured, suit my needs and therefore I have no reason to upgrade them. End of story. Yet every time I explain this to people they just end up baffled as to how I could possibly survive like this.
I've started to consider the possibility of leaving my phone at home sometimes. What do I need it for? There are certainly things I want it for but nothing I truly need it for. To be completely honest I don't think I would really miss it if I left it at home. It would be nice to be able to make phone calls while outside the house if needed but payphones don't really exist anymore. But do I need to make calls? If I *really* needed to make a call I could just borrow someone else's. If I went through with leaving my phone at hone with some amount of regularity I think it would primarily be to make a statement but secondarily be a neat experiment of viability for myself.
I would say this got off track but it was never much more than assorted ramblings in the first place. I'm not entirely sure how to feel about the fact that this has eaten notably into my sleep time when I have work tomorrow. I'm glad I got something written regardless because I've been feeling the urge to write quite a bit lately but I've not been able to get anything down beyond writing a single sentence and deleting it repeatedly.