in Slow Media

Connected

Once upon a time, not very long ago in the grand scheme of things, it took effort to get online. If we were fortunate then we had a computer at home and it was connected to the internet. But not all the time. If you wanted to go online then you had to go through the process of connecting to the internet. So you didn’t do it very often.

Now it takes an effort to go offline because connected has become the default state. We have phones, laptops, tablets and televisions that are permanently connected to the internet. It takes barely more effort than picking up the device.

Is this progress?

Perhaps.

But who does it benefit the most? Where has the drive to have people constantly connected to the internet actually come from?

I suspect, although have no way of proving, that if you’d asked people twelve years ago whether they wanted to have their phones connected to the internet all the time, a good proportion of them would have said no. Yet here we are.

It rarely benefits me to have the internet in my pocket at all times, but it’s there. Collecting data on where I’m going, what I’m doing, what I’m searching for and who knows what else. Selling that data to advertisers or using it to build a profile of me.

That is who it really benefits. To me it is just a constant nagging distraction that I would probably be better off without.

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