Formerly SpringBlog

Sunday, March 20, 2011

When, "Is More Better?" Isn't the Right Question

Is more really better? That is something we have to ask ourselves in today’s world of excess or abundance. We seem to take pride is over indulgence that we can hardly remember what it was like to be without something for even a short period of time. In addition to asking whether we really think that more is better, we need to examine whether more is really feasible or possible.

AT&T recently announced that they would implement overage charges for what most people would consider unlimited data plans. To me this hardly seems right since our society is so focused on constant supply of information and always be available. We are almost trained to use everything that is available to us on a constant basis, but here comes along one of the biggest internet and cell phone providers in the country talking about overage charges. Last time I checked, unlimited didn’t have a cap on it. So much for unlimited. It is great in theory, but the corporations will look for any way to charge those who use “too much.” This begs the question, what is too much?? AT&T says that 150 gigabytes per month is too much. Maybe to someone who checks their e-mail periodically and perhaps visits Yahoo for their daily news. What about a student who is in need of a constant internet connection for uploading, downloading, collaborating of documents and files for school and projects? 150 gb’s goes by pretty quickly then. Just the other day I collaborated on a Google Docs file with two other people in order to jointly create a research brief for a class we are in. These types of scenarios are becoming more and more prevalent, and the usage amounts that we require will only continue to rise.

To be clear, AT&T isn’t the only company who is talking about these things. Issues like Net Neutrality are also of concern in a similar fashion, but other cell phone providers and internet providers are talking about overage charges on what should be unlimited plans. We as consumers should be concerned about these things because they will affect us more than we know. Probably not everyone will use that much information through an internet connection each month, and that is alright. But as technology progresses the number of people who require capabilities like this will only increase. Then who is to say that 150gb’s is too much?? Again though, we are taking AT&T at their word when they set a limit for us like that. We pay them, correct? Why do the consumers not get a say in where these limits should be set? We have allowed the corporations and businesses to control us by ignoring these types of things. So much for Brave New World, there is nothing brave about being mindlessly controlled by the United Corporations of America. Technology is where the new battlefield in people’s rights will be fought. It is high time we start acting like that is the reality that it actually is, and stop pretending that technology is only consumed in cast amounts by nerds and tech. junkies. Computers and the internet have many real world applications that will only further be limited by the corporations in charge of them if we the citizens do not protest and stand up when limitations are set on us.

If the government were to limit us in some way, shape, or form—we would protest. When the corporations do these things—we assume they know best and allow them to get away with these things. It’s called playing right into their hand.

1 comment:

  1. I liked this article a lot, and I think you bring up a great point about what corporations do to their consumers on a daily basis. These are completely overlooked and it is pretty astounding. However, your last paragraph when you say "If the government were to limit us in some way, shape or form--we would protest." I have to completely disagree about that. Sure, we might carry picket signs when they try to take away the power of labor unions, or MSNBC might complain about Arizona's "racist" laws. But what do we really do when the government literally comes up under our nose and takes away things or limits things: nothing. Nothing happened when we complained about the Arizona law. Sure it looked bad for about a week on the national news, but then what? And yes, protesters lined the streets about when state governments were signing bills to take power from unions, but what happened? They passed the laws anyway, and in a few weeks we won't hear another word about it. We blindly follow and not just with corporations, but with the government as well. I think you are exactly right when it comes to corporations doing this, but there is a much bigger problem with people blindly following authority.