Archive for April, 2007


Jogging at gunpoint…

9 April 2007

(Post title with apologies to Robin.)

When I was a kid, my mother would sometimes razz me when I was being naggy or insistent, saying, “You want what you want when you want it!” And I would think, “Well, duh. Doesn’t everyone?”

In reading an article on 37Signals’ blog (warning, contains NSFW language, depending on where you W), I thought, you know, people these days are missing the point. (And it’s going to take me a minute to get to the point…stick with me.) Yes, I want 24/7 internet access. I have a data plan on my phone, I have a laptop, I have FIOS and a wireless network at home. I’ve got ubiquitous access.

But I don’t want to be on line all the time. I just want what I want when I want it.

So many people are commenting on this thread (comments are closed, so I guess I have to post myself to get it off my chest) about how it’s “hard” to disconnect. Well, let me introduce you to something. Power button

Meet your friend the POWER BUTTON. Use it. Just because you CAN be connected all the time doesn’t mean you HAVE to be. Turn it off. Step away from the computer. Don’t you have the power to do that?

It makes me believe that there’s nothing more compelling in your life than your computer. If that’s true, I really feel sorry for you. Today, I walked across my office, away from the computer (sound off, couldn’t see the screen), and I sat in my comfy chair with my feet up, and I did some hand-quilting on a quilt square I’ve been working on. I spent about a half hour doing it. No phone, no internet, no nothing. I listened to the sounds of the kids walking by outside, the cars driving by, and sat there inside my own head for a bit. Because there’s no need to be ON all the time.

Now, yes, the original post is really about your internet connection being on, not your computer, but like lots of early adopters, my internet connection is live most of the time that my computer is on. And the author’s point is that if your computer is on, it’s probably connected, and if it’s not connected, then take that time as down time.

No. No no no. Take down time when YOU WANT DOWN TIME. It’s your time. (Well, except when you’re working for da man, but let’s not quibble, here, you know what I mean.) The point is that I want to do what I want to do when I want to do it. If I want to work on a quilt square on my lunch hour, rather than reading Fark, I will. If I want to look up the status of a project when I’m on an airplane, I want to be able to do that, too. There’s no valor in sucking it up, in taking down time when you HAVE to (because you have no intertubes!). There’s no shame in wanting what you want when you want it. Sorry, Mom, there just isn’t.

(PS – Not to mention the fact that putting one’s data on a central server somewhere, and communicating with that server through non-secure connections is stupid when you’re working on anything but recipes…and of course when you use a ‘service’ to store your contacts, your business plans, your yadda yadda yadda, there’s nothing stopping one of the folks who works there from having his way with your data *cough*AOL*cough*.)