The other day I read a tweet (I think? There are too many social pages to remember – I’m old and I can’t find it again) that said something along the lines of “I miss back when buying things actually meant owning things.”
I was reminded of this today when my workout music was interrupted by Spotify’s 1,000th reminder that I could stop being interrupted if I just paid the damn fee to listen to music “dove voi, quando voi, senza interruzioni” (where you want, when you want, no interruptions)! At this point, it’s taunting me. But then that tweet popped into my head again – and it’s true: even if I paid, I just get access to this program that has music on it. I don’t buy my songs selectively for 99cents a piece and take up all the space on my computer to store them. I don’t pile up CD cases and fill up travel cases with endless burned CDs and others purchased at the mall. If Spotify goes down, no more music for me. I own nothing. I am renting my music now (and terribly because I don’t even rent so I have to maintain my sanity through the ads until Rami or I break down one day and surrender).
Even if we don’t pay, we’re bombarded by ads now. Facebook and Youtube have been throwing them into the middle of videos now and every single time I want to throw my phone out the window.
Videogames? Buy them digitally off the PlayStation. Netflix takes away the option of the Friends Box Set for Christmas Gifts. Movies? Amazon Prime. “Oh buy you buy those movies,” you say. “They’re stored in your Video Library!” And if that video library disappears? Like mine did? And it took four hours of talking to extremely polite people named Shadab and Deepika (I am not making those names up – I still have the chat transcripts) to get the movie that I “owned?”
Kindle books? Same story. I have no idea how but half of my collection has disappeared off of my “shelf” recently. I know finding them again will take about half a day. If I’m lucky. Even pictures are rarely printed out anymore. Instead, we keep them all captive on invisible clouds and trust the massive companies to keep our memories safe.
We own nothing anymore – and the free things just try and sell you stuff every five minutes until you feel like you’ll break down eventually and pay to make the annoying ads go away, or so that you can listen to a Youtube song while your phone screen is off. Read that last sentence back. You’re paying to put your phone in your pocket and still listen to music that wouldn’t be there if you didn’t have service. What are we doing?
I’m going to go print out some photos tomorrow and buy a few frames, then swing by the bookstore – paperbacks never fail you. Owning a few things never hurt anyone – especially if they bring you joy (right Kondo?)
Until then I’ll be resisting the Spotify voices that keep wearing me down and try and sing through the terrible commercials that blast in just at the most inappropriate times. Maybe I’ll buy a new CD player. How much could they possibly cost now?