What If We Suddenly Lost A Part Of The Internet?

Earlier this week, Facebook and its sub platforms Instagram and Whatsapp went down for the majority of the day. It didn’t affect me much at all. In fact, it was probably for the best in my case because I didn’t waste time checking those websites just to see dumb Buzzfeed articles and pictures of places I’ll never visit. But during the down time, when Twitter got a lot busier as a result, there was a rumour going around that Facebook may have been ‘deleted’ or down for good as opposed to just dealing with a minor server issue or whatever usually happens when platforms go down.

I certainly don’t use Facebook or Instagram that much, and when I do use them, it’s certainly not productively, but the thought of losing them forever kind of shook me a little. I’ve only had Facebook for about five years, and Instagram for three, so it’s not like I have years and years of my life cataloged on there, but some people do. Some people have a decade of photos and memories saved there. It’s their cloud storage of sorts. I know I’d miss some pictures at the very least.

It's valuable GIF.

We’ve always been told that the Internet is forever, but what if it isn’t? What if we just wake up one day and a part of it is gone? Sites shut down all the time. Data is lost all the time. What would life be like if a tech mammoth like Facebook just bit the dust suddenly? There are a lot of reasons to hate Facebook and Instagram, and we can goof and gaffe about the Facebook Moms not being able to spread misinformation without their precious echo-chamber-enabling platform, but there’s more to them than that, and perhaps we’ve taken it for granted.

Obviously, there’s a huge social aspect to these platforms. They’re social media, after all. Losing them would perhaps mean losing connections to people we value. I have several friends who I almost exclusively communicate with via Facebook Messenger, and to lose that out of nowhere would be detrimental. I also work in marketing. It’s wild to think about how different some aspects of my job and the whole marketing/communications field would be without Facebook or Instagram. Marketing aside, so many businesses use these platforms as their main point of access. Lives could be ruined without them.

Bill Hader Chaos Gif.

But it’s not just Facebook and Insta that hold immense power. What if Discord disappeared tomorrow? What if Wikipedia shut down? Are we too reliant on the internet to just always be there? As someone always online and so connected to the point where my literal job requires it, it’s kind of scary to think about a life that doesn’t have that. But are backup plans even possible? Like, sure I could have copies of every picture I want from Facebook on a physical hard drive, but that’s not enough necessarily. At the end of the day, we’re at the whim of fallible technology or tech giants with power.

When Vine shut down years ago, creators scrambled to save their own content and fans rushed to save their favourite vines, but at least there was a warning and a grace period to get your stuff and get out, and a lot of quality vines are now viewable in YouTube compilations. And now TikTok is here and thriving. As interesting as it would be to see what platforms would rise if others suddenly disappeared, I’d rather not experience it in a way where everyone is disjointed and feeling a loss.

a heads up would have been nice.

That’s my ramble for the week, but I’d love to know your thoughts. What website/platform (other than this blog, obviously) would ruin your life if it suddenly disappeared?

 

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I Wear Blue Light Glasses Now

I spend basically all my waking hours looking at a screen. Between work, socializing, blogging, and consuming content, it’s a lot, and sometimes it’s more than one screen at the same time. Probably, it’s not the healthiest lifestyle, but it’s one that’s likely going to be my way of life for a good long time. We’re not here to judge me. Or, at least, not for that. What we can maybe judge me for is the fact that I now wear blue light glasses, and let me tell you, they are not cute.

Not A Good Look GIF.

I’ve never struggled to look at screens at all. No headaches, eye issues, or anything, and I sleep perfectly fine. So it wasn’t like I needed blue light glasses, but I figured just in case they do have some long-term preventative effects, it’s not going to kill me to wear them. I do wonder if, in fifty years or something, there’ll be a bunch of data saying that the excessive screen time (that we’re all doing) has caused my generation to have more health issues than my parents’ generation. I wonder this about a lot of things. Is carrying around a cell phone contributing to health issues? Are our salt lamps quietly omitting harmful chemicals? Who’s to say.

Back to the blue light glasses. Studies show they actually don’t do too much and may be a placebo! But there are people who say they help with focus and reducing straining. Again, I’ve never really had any issues, so after wearing these things for three weeks, it’s not really a surprise that I feel like they’ve done nothing for me.

I think they fell for it.
The makers of blue light glasses

Except annoy me. I don’t have prescription glasses (ya girl’s 20/20) and I don’t wear sunglasses too often on account of Rarely Going Outside, so wearing glasses for eight hours a day has been an adjustment because it’s all new to me. I have to consciously remember to put them on, I have to remember not to touch the lens, I have to remember to lift them when I want to rub my eyes. And they hurt! The part of my skull right above my ears kind of mildly hurts from having the glasses resting there. I sometimes alleviate the pain by tilting my glasses up, but that looks even goofier.

Not that anyone sees. How I look in these is between me and God. They come off as soon as other people get involved. And when they do come off, my dragon lamp has proven to be a perfect holding place.

Apparently these glasses were less than 10 dollars and non-refundable, so I’m stuck with them, but even in these three weeks, I’ve developed a respect for people who wear real glasses all the time. It must suck. I’m sure one day I’ll have to as well for reading or driving or whatever, but hopefully that’s not for a long, long time.

Do you wear blue light glasses? Do you find that they help your eyes or sleeping?

That’s all for now.

 

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Everyone Cross Your Fingers For My Laptop

On Friday night my laptop decided to just stop charging. No amount of jiggling the plug or anything could get it going. And so it eventually ran out of power and died.

My father opened it up and tried to poke around, but he couldn’t get it working. And our neighbour, who is our usual go-to tech fixer is out of town for a few days which is so rude. How dare he abandon me in my time of need.

I’m offended by that gif.

I use my laptop a stupid lot. Like, we’re talking close to 11 hours a day. And while my mother has nicely allowed me to use hers, I feel bad hijacking it just to watch dumb YouTube videos, so I’m making do with my phone for the dumb stuff and only using her laptop for important stuff like Virtual Quidditch. It’s a good, humbling throwback to high school when I almost exclusively used my phone for internet needs.

But even in high school I did not blog on my phone. I always like doing ‘work’ of any kind on a larger screen, even if WordPress has made blogging fairly doable on mobile. That being said, this post was fully written, edited, and published from my phone. So if it looks weirder than other posts, you know why. I think WordPress should spent less time forcing block editors at us and more time making sure mobile editors have all the features we need because I already know editing text colour will be a pain here. (Update: after an hour of playing around with code, I cracked and edited the text colour on the old family laptop. Get it together, WordPress).

But what’s a little more suffering? 2020 has and surely will continue to be a hellish year, so a busted laptop is really just par for the course.

 Oprah shrug gif.

I know we have other old laptops somewhere in the house too, so I’ll probably go dig one of those up to also use in the meantime. I hope mine is fixable. I have hard drive backups so I’m not too worried about the stuff on it, but I really don’t want to have to buy a new one and adjust to it.

So that’s what’s up with me. I like doing update posts, but lately I don’t really have anything worth sharing. What’s going on in your life?

 

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Mobile Vs Desktop, A First World Problem

One thing that both impresses and annoys me about my father is his desire to use his phone to research things. Like, a few months ago we were trying to find a restaurant to go to for when we went downtown. My father sat in a chair and used his phone to map out places and read their reviews and view the menus. Whereas if I was doing that task, I’d 100% do it on my laptop. And I have a larger phone than he does.

I'm Like Really Lowkey annoyed gif.

Way back in high school, I had an iPod Touch and no laptop, so I definitely did whatever I needed to do on that, and it was fine, mostly. It was kind of my only choice because the family laptop was often being used by someone else and it certainly was not the quickest device in the world to boot up. But I’d still use it for bigger things, like buying movie tickets or applying for summer jobs. Once I got my laptop, though, it became my go-to for most things online. I have completely adapted to it. I blog from my laptop, I send emails from my laptop, I watch YouTube videos from my laptop. Any time I have to look something up, I reach for my laptop. The thought of doing research and viewing multiple websites on mobile formatting is just exhausting. All that scrolling and zooming and several clicks to switch tabs. It’s so slow compared to a desktop. And yet, I used to do it almost exclusively.

Though my father does still use a computer fairly often and recently bought himself a tablet, he’s still on his phone most of the time, especially in the evenings. That’s his choice. He doesn’t complain much about it.

look at your life, look at your choices gif.

There are a few things I prefer to do on mobile. Some social media apps like Twitter and Instagram are better on my phone. It’s faster to check my emails and load my WordPress Reader on mobile too. But I prefer to type on a keyboard than a touch screen, so as soon as I have to send an email or even write a blog comment, I’ll usually wait until I can do it on a computer. I think it’s just faster and also easier for me to see what I write because I don’t have to scroll so much.

It’s interesting that mobile devices are so popular and they all boast big screens and the ability to do whatever we want to do, but to me, they’ll never compete with a computer. Sure, they’re better for portability and can fit in a pocket (well, not a woman’s pocket), but when it comes down to it, a computer is so much faster to interact with and better for reading and writing. Laptops/computers will never die out for this reason.

phone and laptop gif.

Which do you prefer to use? Is there something you refuse to do on one?

 

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I Still Love And Miss You, Clippy

I’m going to admit something very controversial: I like(d) Clippy.

Do you remember Clippy? He was that little paper clip Microsoft Word assistant. He could also take the form of a few other characters, like a dog or a wizard. Microsoft got rid of him ages ago, and he’s now the subject of memes galore. People hate Clippy. Sure, perhaps he was a little too talkative and didn’t really help you that much, but I liked him.

Clippy gif.

See, Clippy was around when I started writing on a computer way back in 2007. I was in grade six and decided to write the next big novel. Picture little me alone in the corner of a cold unfinished basement, typing away at my dad’s desktop computer after school. I didn’t know much about computers or Microsoft Word or writing, and no one was there to teach me or keep me company (my brother was off playing mini sticks by himself). So who was my companion during this time? Clippy. Always there, always smiling, and always ready to try to help, if I ever needed it. His existence made me feel less lonely.

So I was sad when he was gone from later versions of Word. Once my family got a laptop, no longer was computer use regulated to the cold basement, which was good, but Clippy was gone.

i miss him gif.

I wish we had the option to use him still. If people wanted that feature off, they could have it, but I assure you, writing essays in university or updating my resume would have been so much better if I had that friendly little face on the side of my screen.

These days, we have Alexa and Siri as virtual helpers if we so choose, but they don’t have a physical form. They don’t feel like a friend. I mean, heck, Alexa feels like an eavesdropping spy (because she is one). How can people tolerate these bodiless know-it-all robots but not cute characters like Clippy? It’s hypocritical. It’s unacceptable.

judgemental gif.

So I’m making it clear. Even as the haters go on dragging Clippy’s name and legacy through the mud, he’ll always have a special place in my heart. I still love and miss you, Clippy.

That’s all for now!

Clippy sticker gif.

 

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