I got my first computer in the early 90s. I was late to the game for my age because my parents thought that computers were a passing fad, and had no interest in getting one. I disagreed, and eventually saved enough on my own to be able to afford one. I didn’t have Internet access at the time, because really no one did. BBS type stuff was really the only option. Everything else I did on my computer was done locally. Now, thirty-ish years later, who can say the same?
I was reading an article today written in late 2019 about how we’ve let the “old internet” die. It was an interesting read, and one that I think I’ll probably visit in another post at a later date, but it got me thinking about how I used to use a computer.
During most of the 90s, almost everything I did on my computer was local. Installed locally executing software.
I don’t remember when things changed.
It must have been a gradual conversion. If I look at my computer now, almost none of what I do is purely local, and the vast majority of what I do on my computer is done in a web browser.
I read my email in my browser. I talk to people on my favorite social network in my browser. I look at pictures and chat with friends in my browser. I read news in my browser instead of watching it on TV.
Sadly, I could probably get along just fine with a ChromeBook (as long as I could ignore the slurping sounds of Google sucking up every ounce of information about me they could so they could sell it to the highest bidder).
The weird part about this is, part of me really doesn’t like that this is the case, but I don’t want to change how I’m doing things.
I could move to a local email and RSS feed reader. I could broadcast news instead of reading about things on the Internet.
The problem with that, at least for me, is that it wouldn’t give me the versatility to switch between devices and still pick up where I left off.
At this point, I feel like I’m stuck between a rock and a hard place. I’d like to do less things on the Internet and more locally just to get away from my Internet dependency, but I don’t want to lose the device flexibility that working from Internet sources gives me.
Day 9 of the #100DaysToOffload 2021 Series.
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