If you subscribe to the theory that in a capitalist society everyone is out to get your money, and everyone else wants to control what you do, then you’re in for a surprise. It’s worse than you think.
Back in the day my parents had a television set. One. Over-the-air was tried and true and we could receive half a dozen channels with an antenna mounted on the garage side of the house. Back then, TV was free. A telephone cost about $10 a month. We listened to radio in the car, and had plenty of books, newspapers, and magazines to read, thanks to a free library card.
In other words, just x-number of decades ago, most of the information and entertainment we received as a household was free or very low cost. If everyone is out to get your money, then that system had to change. It did. For the better, and for the worse.
Thanks to the interwebs, information and entertainment reigns in abundance and very little of it is free. In fact, we’re paying more for more. Much more. Of each.
Our cable TV bill tops $150, but does include internet. Our family cell phone bill tops $150, too. And, yes, we still have a land line. Kiss another $30 goodbye.
You see where this is going, right?
Back in the day I had an Apple IIe and jumped when the Mac arrived. $2,500. That same money will get you a fully tricked out iMac or a healthy and mobile MacBook Pro, but the problem isn’t the value– today’s computing devices are an extreme value compared to yesteryear– it’s the growing and ongoing costs associated with computing and being online for information and entertainment.
We have three Macs in the household, two iPads, two iPhones, and an aging PC that seems to have survived Windows 10. We have headphones and earbuds and now a pair of AirPods. The iPhones also have a data plan. Each.
If Apple is out to get my money then they’re doing a bang up job.
Add to that mix Netflix and Amazon Prime and Apple TV. Yes, these are all choices, but not necessarily uncommon choices among today’s technorati literate. Do your own survey. Being one of Apple’s customers has certain benefits, but has an ongoing and seemingly increasing cost.
Add it all up. We’re spending many, many thousands of dollars each year to fund a level of information and entertainment access that was unheard of back in my parent’s day. As a modern society, we’ve gone from curated information and pleasant, family-oriented entertainment, to an era where fake news is the norm, nobody agrees with anybody on much of anything, and we’ve grown willingly habitual about paying more for more but getting less.
All this technology and access to so much information and entertainment of nominal value does not seem to have improved our education system, family values, governmental processes; but I see plenty of technology company executives getting richer by the day.
The latest to get my goat has to do with interwebs security. The new buzzword is VPN– virtual private network– which is used to give us more security while we’re online. Yes, there’s a price tag with VPN access.
Why? Because everyone is out to get your money. Apple stands somewhat alone because I derive more pleasure from using a Mac, iPhone, iPad, and Watch, and live in Apple’s Disneyland-like ecosystem than my Samsung-toting, Windows PC-using neighbors and friends.
And they don’t have any more money than I have.