*Most addicts never see it coming. They just cruise along enjoying a harmless vice, one they are in complete control of, placing themselves above the many that have succumbed. Then the day of Josie’s graduation comes along, which means three hours in the car with family and a long day away from home before there will be any alone time, and they panic a little. Mr. Jones is knocking. That’s when the compromises begin.
One little lie here, one unfact there, twenty dollars here, a couple hours there. They will compromise their own integrity. They will compromise their own reality. They will compromise almost anything just to get at that drink, that pill, that gram, that bet, that cupcake. They start doing things that they never would have dreamed of doing a year ago, or two.
Like putting up with spending hundreds of hard-earned dollars on an item and then having its uses, capabilities and requirements for operation often change drastically, arbitrarily and contrary to your wishes.
Like suffering through constantly being harassed by the damn thing to join this or order that.
Like going along with carrying something around that requires you to let it track your movements and activities in order for it to function optimally.
Like allowing your credit card information to be moved and stored in places without your consent.
Like with your iPhone.
iPhone users now discover that logging in to their device requires being connected to the internet, which is curious because the phone is right there in their hand! Once they connect to the internet and login, they learn that they aren’t really logging into their phone anymore, but instead to iCloud. “So?”, you may be asking. “What’s the problem?”
The first problem is that there is no cloud. No fluffy wispy cotton balls of sweetness in which the stockpile of accumulated data about us, including our financial records can reside. iCloud is a computer in a cold room with one or more motivated-by-money administrators who have fights with their girlfriends, sleepless nights, indigestion, temptations and all the other things that make them human. It is their job to look at your data to some degree just to make sure it is OK. How much closer they look past that, on the late-night shift, when boredom begets curiosity nobody knows for sure.
Are we really willing to continue to allow the companies with which we do business dictate to us where and how our data is stored or backed up?
The second problem is that nothing is secure and that includes Apple; claims to the contrary are either intentional lies or disingenuous marketing ploys, as organizations of all sorts are hacked on a regular basis. In 2018 alone Ticketfly had 27,000,000 records breached, Panera 37,000,000, Facebook more than 87,000,000 and Under Armour had 150,000,000 records breached – just to name a very few. The undeniable fact is that the only place your data is truly safe is on a thumb drive in your pocket – and definitely not in iCloud or OneDrive or Google Drive, etc.
BTW, remember that Jenny and Bruce’s wedding tomorrow is down at the shore, so there’s no cell service and no WiFi. You panicked a little, didn’t you?
As in the days of Carnegie and Rockefeller, before regulations were painfully put in place, big business (MS, Google, Apple, Samsung) has run amok and is completely screwing the consumer. Going from buying software to renting it, requiring us to be logged in to an account to enable either devices or applications to function fully, and having things like iCloud, Apple Music and ApplePay constantly crammed down our throats all came about quietly and sneakily, instituted by companies that know you’re hooked. You’re not going anywhere, so they do as they please.
Are we really willing to continue to allow the companies with which we do business dictate to us where and how our data is stored or backed up? Think about that one.
Are we OK with being required to ‘sign in’ just to use the word processor application we’ve already paid to use? How long are we going to continue to click “I Agree” to terms that fall so much in the seller’s favor as to give the customer no rights, no recourse, no reason to read the terms?
Do we really want to continue to do business with a shady company like Apple that makes gratuitous public proclamations about how they don’t store our data while simultaneously doing everything in their power and using all sorts of underhanded methods to desperately collect as much of it as they possibly can?
How can it be good for us as individuals or as a species to be so connected while void of human connection? And what is it exactly that we allow ourselves to be connected to? And would we still, if we knew?
There is only one reason that Apple, MS, Google and other companies want you to log in, and that is so they can continue to build your digital profile. So they can make money from it. Your money. Your data. In whose control?
Many addicts end up suffering until the day they die. Some have conversion experiences that save them; they become unwilling to continue to give so much of themselves away and to compromise their integrity and reality just to take a hit.
How will it end for you?
Will you stop clicking and signing and logging and agreeing to everything inanimate objects direct you to do? Will you start advocating for fair tech-consumer protections? Or will you have to wake up one morning with a fruit-shaped silicone disk implanted in your neck before you realize that you’ve given away too much?
– REENO –