Surrounded – Huzzah!

I have become surrounded by two flanking maneuvers –

Unplug

One side is deep into unplugging and they are quickly growing a bandwagon, backed up by streaming, trending articles, science on our sociology and the ills of the modern world – and what electronics ‘do to us’ that is harmful –

Much like the ‘drink more water’ bandwagon followers, what..hm…about a year ago? The Unplug folks are certain that if one disconnects from newsfeeds, social media, computer and TV that life will be blissful –

I cannot disagree – sure, life is really grand when you can lock yourself away on the edge of mountain and meditate/pray for peace all day – at some point, either you get hungry OR you have someone who brings you water and food – at which point, your whole “I’ve found peace’ thread loses points with me – sure, If I had nothing to do but sit around in silence thinking deep thoughts and not interrupted with pesky things like eating, drinking or keeping warm, or voting to stave of dictatorship that would force me into slavery worse than I already am, I think unplugging and thinking happy thoughts, being a hermit and puttering around nature or sitting still in it would be grand – most folks don’t get that kind of life OR are willing to die of thirst/hunger in order to live it – so there ya go – pointless advice for working class, raising children or taking care of their families.

Embrace the 21st Century and Productivity!

The second flank that is hemming me in on the opposite side is the folks who have drunk the Kool-Aid and believe technology is the answer to all ills.

If you question it, you’re backward – if you dare say, “ummm…this isn’t working as you advertised…” you are simply asked to upgrade to the next level of service, and when that doesn’t solve the problem, you are asked to do their trouble shooting, on their product, for them, for free –

Who needs to hire customer service and R&D folks when we customers are doing the work for them, for free, in attempts to get customer support?

Seriously?

I confess that most of the tools I look at for my biz are long on promise short on delivery –

I also confess that I often wake up, mid-week or later, every week and think – “Ya know? I think I’m having an unplug day” –

Not that I really unplug – I respond to client emails, calls, texts, but I do so from my phone – I acknowledge I have received –

IF time sensitive, I walk to my ‘office’ and do – if Not, I may not even answer, but decide to do late tonight or early tomorrow morning – who cares? Still less than 24 hours turn around which is more than I can say for many of the customer support/tech support options I deal with EVERY, FRICKIN’ DAY I WORK!

Somewhere, somehow, there must be a happy middle that allows a small biz opportunity

Just saying – as one of my fave ‘biz’ blogs states (she offers classes I cannot afford, enjoy reading some, if not all her marketing emails, anyhoo) she long ago said, and often repeats – “You don’t have to invent the mousetrap, just make it better – opportunities to make an offering better, abound – Just do it “

She has her own phrase for “Just Do It” – lest you try to report her for stealing another’s ad campaign – her phrase is “JFS” which is polite acronym for Just Fucking Ship!”

Okay – now you get why I like her – I enjoy cussing, raw, people who cut through the cutesy, positive, useless biz informercials that inundate online world – for marketing everything from your carefully written novel to your pet grooming service or reselling crapola no one really needs on amazon or ebay –

See? I have an online life – I read a lot out there – I just tend to laugh and make fun of a lot of it –

Reminds me of a Tom T. Hall song – I don’t have a thing for older women or whiskey, but faster horses sounds good – – πŸ™‚

You can view the lyrics and hear the music here.

That all said –

It is disheartening to me to see the internet go the way of telephones and radio did a century ago – As in – it’s growing, security scares make headlines, and, everyone who can is out building their cyber empire – I believe, cyberland, is where World War III is already happening – it just hasn’t truly made the news as such, yet –

And I’m left with the realization, I’m probably not good enough or smart enough to be a general, not willing to die on this battlefield as a foot soldier, but not willing to be an objector and just throw my computer out the window and go putter in the blissful days of garden, kitchen, experimental station on preservation, home hooch/wine making, etc….

Not just yet – – but I’m getting closer – though I would so miss visiting with those bloggy pals here that I will, most likely, never have the chance to travel to their neck of the woods and actually putter in their kitchen while we drink, visit and fix a meal to share –

However…

I realize that while many in my neck of the woods think what folks pay to get a basic website built by the ‘big boys’ in urban corridor to the west is highway robbery, and yet, they can’t quite walk through making their free or $2.99/month website do what they want it to – neither do they value what I do, have done, continue to learn more, in order to do more –

It’s not truly valued, although they often come to me with

We Need a Website! We Have to Have One!

And I always ask questions to determine do they NEED a website, or just an online presence?

AND, if yes, they need a website, then I want to know,

How does your website earn it’s keep?

Funny how many are stymied by that question – a website is an investment – no two ways about it – it costs time, money or both –

So, how does it earn it’s keep?

Does it inform, educate, raise donations/make sales, explain a little known industry to folks who need such services but didn’t think such services existed?

Does it display required public documents so one doesn’t get hit with fines and penalties for failing to follow regulations for ones’ industry?

It either saves time of staff, money for the company and/or it pre-sells to customers or makes sales to customers, while staff sleep –

Easy, in my mind, to know how one’s website earns it’s keep –

Not so easy for clients to answer –

They do answer – eventually – always –

Sometimes, they just don’t know they finally told me how they expect their website to earn it’s keep…..but usually, it comes out in conversation – when I listen or read emails and learn – sometimes, about 1/2 way through the project – it’s a learning process –

As you can tell, I’m deep into “Plugged Into” world –

I know it, you know it – else I wouldn’t talk about websites and blogs and online presences, etc., so much –

On the other hand – does cyberland have value, to you, if you’re not the front man for a wealthy Nigerian Prince in search of money laundering services?

πŸ™‚

Obviously, it still does for the Nigerian Prince, he’s just a non-profit who helps veterans now – and asks for a donation – or your credit card number

Or he is a hero that’s found out your identity/computer has been hacked and he can save the day for just $99 if you just click on that little button in the email…

See? And these are just the brash forays on the front of WW III –

The more subtle ones are the thousand and one offerings when you hear “There’s an App for that” tune –

And as I watch and at accelerated pace that has sped up this past year – yes, there is an app for that – none of them are free –

You’ll pay with your information, your marketing to/consumer worth (marketing/ads attention) your time and/or your money –

There is no free internet, not really –

And so, the great liberator, the great marvel of our time (remember the telephone, telegraph, radio?) which started out as free, isn’t and it’s being slowly taken over by ‘small charges’ for this, that and the other –

Thus, you must earn $ to access, use, etc.

Take on a second job if you must – the great cyberland beast must be fed….

I do not begrudge…

Those who have worked so long and so tirelessly to provide ‘free’ versions, making their weekly wages or cashing in on years of work –

Nope, I just see more and more customer UIs popping up for services paid for – where there exists no phone number or storefront to go visit – if you are dissatisfied or need support, you simply must email/submit request and then hope you can carve out the time to be on hand 3 days later when they decide your ‘appointment’ slot came up today in the ‘which customer shall we deal with today’ lottery –

Rather like waiting for the cable TV guy to show up in the 4 hour window you were scheduled for, right?

Only to get a call about 10 minutes before you are due back to work, that says “He’s on his way – running about 30 minutes late –

And woe to you if you say, “I have to go back to work, else I’ll lose my job – I took a 1/2 day without pay to wait here for him to arrive” – and be told,

“If you are not there, we will have to reschedule your appointment and you will be moved down the list for failure to keep an appointment”

Sound familiar?

Oh yes it does – we’ve all been playing this latest game round for years – with doctors, then service repairpersons who are ‘strategically routed through a regional office to give you the best, “just in time” service (you can thank early versions of AI attempts for this – it’s merely database building and elaborate queries and run operations – but where do you think they started in testing out AI – does it learn? really? Or is it just following all the long list of rules stupid humans wrote – the same *ahem* humans who can’t schedule a service call and have it actually happen within a 4-hour window even with 6-weeks notice?

See?

I’m in a place of ‘not congruent’ –

I play in cyberland, fight in cyberland, understand bigger things than even I can fully grasp are happening in cyberland – and yet….

If I could learn to live off sunshine and air and not be derelict in my duties, I would simply take hours to wash my clothes by hand and wring them out – because, I’ve read all the books in my house, the local library is now closed cuz those who love cyberland aren’t sure why libraries are even needed anymore, and what to do with all the free time I now have?

Folks used to drop by to visit, they don’t anymore –

And so, either I’ve become awful or no one needs me as bad as they think, if they have to stop by, instead of just calling, texting or emailing –

That said, it occurred to me that despite my routine calls to folks, just to ‘chat and catch up’ no one ever calls me unless they need something from me –

Sad, but true – and so, since I’m already on my way out of ‘human circle of connection’ given I’m only sought when work needs done, not for just chatting or what have ya – I guess, maybe, as soon as I learn to live off sunshine and air, I’ll unplug, completely and forever – πŸ˜€

Ahhh..what a dream that would be…. πŸ™‚

7 thoughts on “Surrounded – Huzzah!”

  1. I think it’s normal to let go of so much of the ridiculousness of everyday life as we get older. There’s nothing out there in the cyber world that has me hooked. Being unplugged is what I prefer. I’m very haphazard about the phone. I text and email when I feel like it. We live very simply here and I’m glad of it. The less gadgets the better.

    As for my blog, I spend $50 a year for more space and no advertising. I chalk up to enjoyment and my only real hobby. It would be great to have someone manage the blog – and I am thankful that WordPress makes it halfway easy. I do love to write. I don’t care about making money on it. And I don’t use my name because I don’t want attention or folks coming to see the wild things.

    I like the way you just say it like it is. No beatin around the bush with you!! Ha ha! Keep ranting. I like the kick-ass attitude!

    Like

    1. Thank you for your support of my wayward ways, that aren’t, in reality, very likely to change much anytime soon – it’s just so much easier to speak your mind, revise your position when you learn more/better, than it is to tip toe around and basically, spend most waking moments never being yourself – – sigh – I would NEVER have made it as a double or triple agent – πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Ha ha! Me either. We’d be in some prison somewhere! You said exactly what is going on with me. I seem to be going off the rails, no longer desiring to be pushed to change or walk on eggshells. I can no longer not be myself. I’ve been waiting my whole life to speak my thoughts and views, pose questions and wonder… and hopefully in a respectful manner. But pushy people and those who make me uncomfortable or don’t take me seriously, I just need to walk on and let them be. The desire to be me is strong… I sense that in you too! πŸ™‚

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I hear you Tamrah Jo, I really do… And can sympathise especially in your own skilled type of work which I wouldn’t have a clue where to begin..
    There are the best of both worlds.. Technology in todays world is a must.. its how we are geared up, our younger generation have taken to it, mastered it and are raring to go into the next magical app that jumps through loops and makes magical things happen..
    However I think, and as much I would like my granddaughter to spend more time off of her phone watching YouTube clips, and to get out into nature I am a realist.. And this is there world..
    My world way back when was to be seen and not heard, go out and play and don’t appear until meal time.. And our toys were often make-believe, I was lucky in growing up in a small country village with lots of farming friends… So nature was part of what I grew up with.. Technology is childrens playmate today..
    And I hear you about taking time off work for repair people NOT to show up.. Been there done that in my working life and you get cross.. Time is money to them, and They forget we as customers also have to manage our time and work for a living..
    And yes also been there when less and less people call you.. And then they only call when they want something.. I received such a call yesterday from my Son.. Asking if we could have our Granddaughter for sleep over.. I love having her, always… and lap up our time together.. But just once it would be nice to get a call to ask how we are without a Can you do this on the end..
    And yes Tamrah Jo I am unplugging more and more… Not from the people I love or the friends I have made, but just so my own sanity can find balance in that space of peace..
    Knit One Purl One… Paint one stoke then two…. That’s me these days…
    Thanks for listening to my own rant… I certainly understand your thoughts my friend..
    Take care of YOU..
    Lots of love ❀

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yup – to all of it – on the other hand, I’m not certain that generational or anything broadly ‘seen as causation’ in media is actually the issue – deep down – I confess to thinking human’s haven’t evolved to travel safely at ‘light speed’ and yet so much around us from work, to play, to entertainment, to dreams, to everyday tools our kids AND we are told we should ‘master’ if we are to get anywhere in life, is, in the end, morphing into a ‘produce, produce, produce’ type of society and even to compete on the field, so often means you get caught in the under-tows of ‘life at speed of light’ river – :). No easy answers – but I do know this – it takes more money to ‘keep roof over head and food on the table, and heat in the winter’ now, than it did a short 4 years ago – I’m making more, but even stripped down to bare bones, everything costs more than the more I earn – whether I work for myself or for someone else – the homeless issues in major metro areas have been steadily growing over the years, and so many of them, got laid off, had a medical issue, etc., = = not because they chose to spend on a vice, or anything else – there are many things in our current systems that are adding to the issue, that is quickly overlooked or not even considered, when the ‘focus’ is on groups asking for more, divisive politics and the ever growing, “Well, just shape up your attitude – If you don’t imagine success, then you have no one to blame but yourself’ – and other versions of blaming the individual, be they a child or adult – but then, that’s a whole ‘nother post, right there! πŸ˜€

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yes I hear you, and we could debate these issues long into the night.. We all have to take responsibility.. Its been a collective decline.. And we all need to step up to the plate so to speak.
        sending love and well wishes.. ❀ Speak soon ❀

        Liked by 1 person

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