I’ve been asked to join facebook so often in the last weeks/months, I’m very happy to have a facebook that is not facebook now. I’m sure I’ll find out what Google+ actually is in time, but for now, it primarily is something that is not …
This is how this story started roughly six months ago.I have always been an idealist. And as such, I refused (and still refuse) to join Facebook because of their utter disregard for privacy. But when I joined Google+ mostly due to peer pressure, little did I know how this small surrender of principle would change me in the coming months. I caught up with the modern world. With social networks. With smartphones. With… the future. Idealism falters in the face of simple convenience.
Before, I used a phone that—as I jokingly commented—did “both things: phone calls and SMS.” But the ability to browse the web was too appealing. So, why not get a smartphone. When deciding for one, I was urged to get a Nokia one, because Google and Android are evil data collectors, and Apple with the iPhone was worse. But the Nokia line was discontinued. Many people used Android already. For once, I wanted to use something widely supported, and not the underdog that just causes annoyances. So, Android. Google, take my soul.
Recently, I needed a non-geek e-mail address. Something I can spell out to the local administration without them being confused. Anything. Oh, I already have this gmail.com address. How convenient. A calendar? Sure, I could use some kind of funny solution, but I already have a Google account, and Google Calendar offers almost all features I ever wanted. The other apps I tried are not even half as user-friendly. It also syncs with my phone out of the box and is accessible via the web. It simply works. How … convenient. Need an RSS reader? I have tried a few, but none get as convenient as Google Reader. How can non-web products be so horrible compared to a web app!
But my path down into the abyss did not end with Google. I wanted an e-book reader. I did my research for a long time. There were some nice options. But I ended up with the Kindle. The worst of the worst, the DRM prison. Why? Because buying a book at Amazon is absolutely convenient. Click on the amazon site, Kindle blinks, I can read the book. All other options make this more complicated. Why? What’s the problem? It’s the 21st century, web shops rule the world! But no, the rest of the world is still stuck with cumbersome web sites, weird incompatibilities, and whatnot. While they’re trying to sort out how to order a book and get it on a reader, I’ve already read one and bought the second one. From Amazon. Making them even richer, and telling them that yes, the Kindle and its DRM tie-in and consumer oppression is fine. If this is how oppression looks like … go ahead, oppress me.
Master Yoda—I have failed.