… because of your commitment to privacy? Or because you reject mainstream tech-enabled culture to follow your own path?
I’ve never feared technology and was for a long time an “early adopter.” I knew the moment I laid eyes on a PC that I had to have one. I was online years before the WWW was a thing. I met my former Significant Sweetie on a Fidonet bulletin board (gun-rights site) when meeting a partner online was unheard of.
These days, however, I shun most new tech. Even some of my granny-aged friends tote their smartphones everywhere they go, but I won’t have one; carrying an omni-surveillance device in my pocket is obvious folly. Yet that also means that quite an amazing array of useful apps — and even the operating systems they work on — are like a foreign language to me. It’s as if half the U.S. has suddenly started speaking Swedish and I’m still stubbornly insisting on talking “old-fashioned ‘Murrican.”
I quit TV 20 years ago (December 27, 1994) and my life is better for it. But there’s a whole range of common cultural experience I’m now distant from. And that’s true even now that anybody can catch Downton Abbey or Breaking Bad online.
I don’t regret my choices. If I did, I’d un-choose them. But the disconnect does worry me. As I get older I sometimes ask myself, “Is this still a matter of principle or are you just becoming a stuck-in-the-mud fogey, resisting change?”
Google’s just-announced acquisition of Nest got me mulling on this again. I love the idea of a household thermostat that learns my habits and adapts its settings to my activities. I loathe the notion of Google (and its bosom buddy the NSA) monitoring the transaction. Not only has Google become an information-gobbling monster; but I see no reason why such cool technologies can’t be made essentially private. They would be better private. Even if Google had good intentions (which it doesn’t), it’s obvious to me that inserting any third party between us and things we want to do is an ordinary, everyday, garden-variety hindrance, as well as a danger.
Or is that fogey talk?
I know a lot of you reject certain tech because it’s privacy-invasive or otherwise obnoxious. Do you sometimes worry, though, that these choices are carrying you farther and farther away from the culture you live in? Do you worry that maybe you’re just getting crotchety and stubborn?
OTOH, I know some of you embrace “smart” tech. If so, how do you manage to be comfortable with it, even knowing it’s inherently surveillance tech?