Look at the image above and identify the familiar sites that you frequently visit. Now see the price on the right of it? What if cable companies and internet providers charged you based on the websites you visit and the various functions you need?
Looking at television, you already see this with Comcast or DirectTV and their channel packages. To get the premium channels there is an upcharge. Want to watch Game of Thrones? Then that will be an extra $30 dollars added to the $100 you are already paying for cable. This scenario could be in the distant future for consumers if net neutrality is taken away.
Net neutrality is the principle that internet service providers must treat all data on the internet the same, and not discriminate or charge differently by user, content website, platform, application, type of attached equipment, or method of communication. Essentially, the internet should be a place that is not regulated by the government or media conglomerates.
I’ve read the book 1984 by George Orwell and sacrificing Net Neutrality would bring us as a society one step closer to a dystopian reality. A little bit of background about the novel, it was written in 1948 when there was fear of global war and Orwell describes a totalitarian dystopia that is characterised by government control and subjugation of the people. Every method of communication would be monitored and controlled. Without Net Neutrality, internet providers can speed up, slow down, or block any applications or websites you want to use. I say fight for a free internet because that is the way it has always been!
Save The Internet: What You Need to Know
About 8 months ago, I was talking with friends about that children’s singer, Raffi. We were reminiscing about singing “Baby Beluga” as children and how we were all going to go to a Halloween party as Raffi songs. When I got home that night, I decided to look Raffi up and see what he was up to. I found him on Facebook and Twitter and followed him. It became clear quickly that Raffi, still singing songs for children, has evolved into an anti-technology advocate, especially when it comes to children.
I didn’t get my first smartphone until 5 months ago. I will openly admit that I am addicted to my laptop and when it broke this past Sunday I actually became depressed, but when it came to my phone, I was insistent on never getting a smartphone. I didn’t want to become one of “those” people who, when out with friends, spends all their time playing on their phone. Now that I have my smartphone, I can see the negatives and the positives. While I am not addicted to it like I am with my laptop, I find it useful for the GPS and looking up information when a computer isn’t nearby. I also see how smartphones can disconnect you from real life because you are no longer having conversations when you are out with people.
Back to Raffi, he has a book about the dangers of technology and children. I haven’t read it, but I have followed him long enough on social media to know what the gist of it is. He has said that children do not use their imaginations when they are around technology. I find this very true in my own life. Ever since I got my first laptop, I’ve had the hardest time being motivated and finding ideas for my creative writing. I feel like my mind is so busy with information that I can’t filter it out to focus on what is important to me. Because of my addiction to the Internet, especially, I get anxious about being bored and having nothing to do. When I was a kid, I remember being bored, especially during the summer months when Dragnet Fridays came on Nick@Nite’s Summer Block Party. (I hated Dragnet). When I was bored, I didn’t have the Internet to entertain me, but I was very creative as a child and figured out things to do. This fear parents seem to have about their children having nothing to do and bothering them has resulted in kids being addicted to technology at young ages when they should be using their imagination and being kids. Kids should be out playing with friends, playing Cops and Robbers, riding their bikes, not in front of a computer.
While I know I can’t be without technology for very long, I don’t want my future children to be like me. I want them to experience camping in the wilderness and going for family bike rides like I did when I was a kid. I want a better world for them and an over-consumption of technology is not the answer.