I don’t think I’m addicted to tech. But I certainly spend a good deal of time using my computer and smart phone. Lately, especially after the revelations about Facebook during the past couple of years, I’ve been trying to find my way to using technology as opposed to being used by it. I closed my Facebook account and have started to use Firefox, which has a containment add-on for Facebook, instead of Chrome for many things. I am also testing DuckDuckGo as a search engine, because I sometimes feel like the Google Monster has a creepy grasp on me.
I am trying to accommodate the new reality on the web. A place that used to feel fun and safe and is now full of predators.
Firefox (the browser I have started to use because it is less out to get me than Chrome) sent out this Data Detox Kit. And I have been taking a look around it this morning. I decided to pass it along because I have found several of the articles interesting.
The “detox kit” is a set of articles about various internet safety topics. The material itself is mostly not new, but contains reminders of things I need to keep in mind. The one I am spending the most time reflecting on is the part at the bottom that they call “Escape the defaults”. There are links to several articles about “persuasive design”. I found this article, entitled The internet made me do it really helpful.
The interweb has been niggling at me lately
Of late, if I have to close a pop-up asking me to sign up twice I just leave the site. Browsing on the phone it doesn’t always take two times because the tiny x to close the accursed thing is off the screen. Most material isn’t so special that you need to sign up for a dozen email newsletters of regurgitation.
I found an interesting article on a very nice photography web site that explained why I have that feeling: How Expert Photography.com Steals Content and Outranks Everyone. I found the article both informative and depressing. I really like the in-depth articles on the Photography Life website and I am savvy enough to know that an awful lot of hard work went into these articles.
On this blog I have a paid account so my beautiful sunset or flower photos won’t be spoiled by being adjacent to some of the grosser ads. I know of others who do the same. At first I figured that since it costs something to have a server and people managing WordPress it’s worth pitching in a bit, especially since I sincerely doubt they would ever get a click from a visitor to my site. But lately, I started wondering: is the choice of those ads for people after a certain period of time on free accounts a deliberate move to push folks to paid accounts? Not everyone can afford that for a hobby, and we are all providing free content, often at considerable cost of time and, in many cases, equipment and software to produce things.
It’s very hard to know what to do…you have to figure out a balance between what you give and what you get. I have a feeling that it will be a little different for each of us.
How do you find that balance?