As I’ve written before, the internet is amazing. It informs us thereby making us smarter, connects us, entertains us and so much more. But I’m noticing that it also spoils us. Once our internet connection is presumably established through WiFi, (often free WiFi,) we expect everything that comes to our screen to be free and with no strings attached. Maybe I’m just getting old, but it’s becoming annoying. In the past, I’ve defended Gen X and Gen Y as not being selfish and I believe the same applies to Millennials. In the online interactive world, every generation feels entitled. When it comes to websites and apps, of which 98% are free, we have little right to complain.
Of course, when a website or app decides to charge for its content, web users complain because they expect it to be free. In a way, this is understandable. The content providers themselves have created this expectation of “complimentary’ism” since they started giving it all away for no money a long time ago. (Ask the newspaper companies if this was a good idea.) But that still leaves 98% of websites and apps that we can use or download for free. Despite the fact that many of these interactive websites and apps, (or W&A’s as I will call them,) lose money, we tend to forget that they are supposed to be businesses. Why would anybody start something up that’s expensive unless they can make money off of it?
Happy New Year plus one week after the long hiatus here at Things I’ve Noticed. Sorry to make you miss by blog posts. With Christmas being over and people coming to grips with the presents they’ve received, I just want to say don’t feel like you have to return any of your presents by falling for “receiver’s remorse” (or buyer’s remorse if you bought yourself a present.) Supposed happiness experts are tell us, “Buy experiences, not things.” That’s an oversimplification, not good advice. I would say buy experiences and buy fewer things, ones that make you happy and lead to experiences you enjoy.
Most things we buy create immersions in the moment that we enjoy. I bought specific speakers for my stereo because they sound great (to me) and they repeatedly create a wonderful musical listening experience. Objects continually create experiences until they break or age beyond their functional life. That’s value! I am particular about the cars I drive because to me, driving is about the experience and the feel of the vehicle that I encounter nearly every day. A vacation or a zip-lining experience is a one-and-done affair. Objects can make part of each day a mini-vacation whereas you can only go on a real vacation every so often. We have limited time and budgets. It’s not about the ownership of the item, but to get repeated experiences from an object requires ownership. For instance, I can’t rent the same bicycle 30 times a year. Ironically, memorable experiences can lead to the purchase of souvenirs or the creation of photographs, even if only stored on a hard drive.