How Did I Exist Without Data For So Long?

When I got a cell phone in high school over a decade ago, it was a slide phone (a Samsung Vice, to be exact). The plan I was on was pay-as-you-go, allowing me 2500 combined incoming and outgoing texts and nothing else for $10 every month. I stayed on that plan for 11 years, even when I moved to an iPhone and actually had the means to go on the internet. That $10 plan was eventually forced up to $15 but they gave me 10 minutes of talk time. A few years ago, they forced it up to $20 and gave me nothing more, and that was my villain origin story breaking point.

I've Had Enough Of That GIF.

Last November I finally made the switch to a different provider. I now pay $17 now for unlimited text, 100 minutes of outgoing calls, and 250MB of data*. I barely make calls, and most of my messages are free iMessages, but that data….life changer. How did I survive so long without it?

It’s not a lot of data, and in the few months I’ve had it, I haven’t used more than 75% of my allotment (even when the power went out for 24 hours), but it’s come in handy so many times. Most recently, pulling up Dairy Queen coupons on the app after deciding to spontaneously make an ice cream stop. To think I used to wait until I got to my destination, connect to the wifi (if there even was any), and then tried to find what I needed. Being able to quickly check things like that and search for things something online whenever is great. Curling scores from the highway? Yes! Looking up that actor’s name from the beach? Yes! This power is wild.

I'm Drunk on Power GIF.

I guess to answer my question of how I survived without it, the answer is public wifi and screenshots in advance. Most places have free wifi, so if you’re in a city, it’s not hard to connect to something on the street, be it a fast food place or a bank. There were a few times I got lost going downtown for a job interview or something, but I was never panicking because I’d just walk to the nearest McDonalds and be okay. I’d love to see more places have free, easy to connect to wifi, though. Of course, this only works in a city where there are fast food joints on every corner. Being out in the suburbs isn’t as easy if you’re lost and without data. And I know because that has happened to me too.

Anyway, I’m sure most of you reading this have data and aren’t as wowed by it as I am. That’s fine. This is about me. I always kind of wonder how people without smartphones got by in life, and I’m sure there were people who thought the same about me when they heard I was data-less. But now I’m not, and I am happy about that.

exciting about using a phone gif.

That’s all for now!

*if you’re reading this and thinking “damn, what kind of deal is that?” note that I am Canadian and there’s a media duopoly going on so prices for phone, TV, and internet are such a mess up here. Interestingly enough, the provider I switched to (Lucky Mobile) is owned by the company I was with previously (Bell).

 

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Things I Don’t Trust

I went downstairs for an afternoon snack recently to find my father installing a new light switch in the kitchen. Only it wasn’t a regular light switch. It was an Amazon light switch of some sort, so on top of being able to turn on the light, it had an Alexa built-in.

I don’t trust Alexa. And I didn’t think my father did either. Yet here we are. I think it’s very creepy. It’s not even about Amazon, it’s about the fact that there’s this device always listening. It’s in the kitchen, the hub of the house, and I don’t care that now we can listen to the radio from the light switch. This better not be a gateway drug for my father to turn our whole house into an automated ‘smart’ hellscape.

I Don't Trust Them gif.

Alexa and Amazon aren’t the only things I don’t trust.

I don’t trust Roombas either. Like Alexa, they’re handy, but I don’t like the fact that they know your floor plan. They know what furniture you have and where. They know your doorways and where you are. The newer versions of Roomba collect this data to better improve the robot’s movements and cleaning capabilities, and I don’t like it. Does the company just have files of house maps saved on some server somewhere? What could they do with that?

I don’t trust mobile banking. I do online banking, but only from my one laptop. I don’t want apps tracking me and my money from my phone. Additionally, I don’t trust Apple Pay or any form of digital credit card. Phones are lost and stolen so often, and though it’s never happened to me, I don’t want to take that risk. Not to mention that I don’t want Apple having that information in the first place. I don’t care that it’s easier to make purchases or e-transfers, I’d rather feel safer when it comes to my literal life savings.

Doesn't That Seem Suspicious GIF.

I don’t trust Instagram ads or products (mostly). I don’t know why, but Instagram in particular feels like such a scummy place in terms of shopping and ads, which is unfortunate because a lot of honest businesses and creators use it. I know there are good and honest products and stores on there, but so many that I see just have such bad vibes. I just feel like any product being promoted is some fast-fashion/poorly made literal scam. Luckily, I’m not one for online shopping, so I’m not too concerned about this personally affecting me.

Do I have trust issues? Maybe. But I don’t feel bad about it. Can you blame me for being a bit skeptical about some of the pervasive tech around us? We live in a screwed up world, and I’m trying my best to keep myself safe (Related: this post about online privacy).

Or maybe I’m just being overly paranoid. What are you distrusting of?

Hermione Suspicious GIF.
Me, constantly.

 

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My Top 10 Fruits

I don’t know what possessed me to make this list, but here we are. Despite being a picky eater, I’ve always been pretty good about eating fruits. Maybe not as much as the Food Guide recommends, but still. I thought I’d list out my favourites, and get a nice ranking so everyone knows where I stand. Also, I should note that I am White™, so this list is very basic and not at all ‘exotic’ because I simply have not been exposed to anything but the ‘regular’ fruits my White™ father buys at the grocery store.
Dancing fruit gif.

  1. Grapefruit – These are delicious. You eat them in such a fun way by scooping out the little sections with a spoon. They also last forever in the fridge, and even if the outside looks a little bruised or squishy, the inside is always perfect. I feel like these are underrated, but I think they’re just great and deserve more love.
  2. Pearsshoutout to all the pear. These are a great fruit. It’s pretty easy to tell by feel if they’re ripe, and even if they’re not fully ripe, they’re still usually edible, which I have to commend. My only complaint is that the yellow pears bruise easily.
  3. Raspberries – If you take me to a fresh Pick Your Own raspberry farm, I will eat my body weight in raspberries. Love them. From the store though, I need them to be firm. When they are, it’s good stuff.
    Turtle eating a raspberry gif.
  4. Kiwis – Like grapefruit, I enjoy that they’re eaten in a unique way (I scoop the halves out). These are very tasty, but they take forever to ripen, and it can be unpleasant to scoop if you try too early, so I can’t put these higher on this list.
  5. Cantelope/Honeydew – I’ve combined them because they’re essentially the same and I enjoy them equally.
  6. Peach – A peach when it’s perfectly ripe and juicy is the best, hands down. However, it’s not a huge window. A less juicy one is still enjoyable, though, as long as it’s ripe. Peaches also bruise easily, but the bruise isn’t as brown and doesn’t taste bad like on other fruits.
  7. Plum – these are respectable, middle of the road fruits. They don’t need to be juicy, but some are, and that’s great. I don’t find myself craving plums ever, but when they’re in season, I enjoy them.
  8. Blueberries – like raspberries, I demand that these are firm. I enjoy filling my hand with them and shoving the whole handful into my mouth.
    Blueberries GIFs - Get the best GIF on GIPHY
  9. Strawberries – when they’re good, they’re good, but when they’re bad, and they taste like crunchy grass, I really can’t defend them at that point. My family has gotten to the point where we don’t eat strawberries unless there’s a can of whipped cream on hand just in case we need to dress up the grass taste.
  10. Apples – these are a solid fruit, and I respect that there are so many different kinds. But they bruise easily, and I don’t particularly enjoy biting apples. Also, the insides get so brown so fast when they’re exposed, and I just have no tolerance for that.
    Eating Apple GIFs | Tenor

Honorable mentions: cherries and watermelon. And this seems like a good place to mention that things like lemons or tomatoes, though technically are classified as fruits and are things I like to eat, are not Fruit™ enough to be on this list. Sorry not sorry.

What’s your favourite fruit? Sound off in the comments.

That’s all for now!

P.S. tomorrow (April 8th) marks 7 years of this blog being officially in existence! Thank you to all who’ve been on this journey!

 

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The Fleeting Music Landscape

Music is and forever will be prelevant in general pop culture, but how it is consumed and how it has evolved has changed a lot in the past few decades.

Change gif.

As you know, around the Christmas holidays, ‘All I Want For Christmas (Is You)’ by Mariah Carey is everywhere. Everyone knows the song. I was talking about it and its pervasiveness this past holiday season when the following question was posed to me: will there ever be another song that’s as iconic and widely known?

And I answered no.

Music is so spread out nowadays that it’s is no longer forced upon us. Fifteen, twenty years ago, there was no Spotify, no iTunes. Yes, there were CDs and those on computers maybe had some mp3s, but we all still listened to the radio a lot and watched the same music videos on MTV. Thus, we all knew of the same big songs and big artists. But now, we can tailor our listening habits to our exact tastes and find songs that radios would never think of playing, so we don’t waste time listening to their set lineup. Music is now a personal thing enjoyed on one’s own, and sometimes never shared.

Deeply Personal to me gif.

Obviously, Carey’s hit has the benefit of being a seasonal song so every year it makes a comeback, whereas other popular songs that everybody knows of like ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ don’t have a timeline to follow to force themselves back into the spotlight, and this can affect popularity.

And since we’re all in control of music now, we can move past songs and artists quicker. Of course there are big, popular songs still, but they’re fads that come in and out, and even artists with the number one song can struggle for a lasting career past it.

And speaking of artist careers, I think this concept of music spreading out also relates to the idea that winning a competition show guarantees you a career like it’s advertised. Back in the days of there only being network TV to consume, everyone and their mom would be up to date with shows like American Idol. When a winner was announced, everyone knew their name and music, so yes, they did have a basically set career ahead of them. Even if you didn’t watch the show, you still probably know of Kelly Clarkson, Carrie Underwood, and even runner-ups like Adam Lambert.

We Have The Biggest Voice GIF.
American Idol winners in 2008 be like

So it’s super interesting to me that nowadays, shows like The Voice have had over 20 seasons in the past decade with big-name mentors, and I, someone who is fairly up on pop culture knowledge, can’t name a single winner. Not a one. Do these winners have music careers now? Am I just not in the right places to hear their music? Or is music so spread out now that the only fans are the ones who watched the show, and they struggle to grow in such a competitive industry?

I’m not complaining that the music landscape has shifted. I love being in control of what I listen to. But maybe it is a bit sad that society won’t collectively come together because of music anymore. Unless it’s coming together to agree on how awful songs are. ‘Gangnam Style’, I’m looking at you.

I’m sure in the next few decades, music as a whole and how we consume it will continue to evolve even further, and I’m fine with that. But it is interesting to consider what we may lose in this process.

Win Some Lose Some GIFs.

What are your thoughts on this topic?

 

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Are We Even Watching The Same Thing?

Do you ever have those moments where you have to ask yourself and maybe even double check that you were in fact watching the same media as everyone else despite having such a differing opinion of it? It’s kind of interesting when that happens, as it makes me question myself and my taste. How can everyone seemingly love something that I found nearly unwatchable? Am I the problem?

What Is Wrong With Me GIF.

This recently happened with the spinoff show Peacemaker. The first three episodes came out at once, and there were a lot of positive sentiments online about the show from fans and even other celebrities. Based on the character from The Suicide Squad, I went into the episodes with medium expectations and found myself pretty let down. I watched it all with my boyfriend, and he shared my sentiments (which I was very glad for). We actually double-checked that it was in fact only three episodes that came out and we didn’t miss some spectacular fourth one. Even now, with the first season complete, we both thought the show to be mediocre at best. But okay, there were rumours that DC/HBO really put a lot of money into promoting the show on social media and may have artificially inflated the hype machine a bit. That’s just one example.

Peacemaker opening gif.

The other example that bamboozled me more than Peacemaker (which wasn’t awful, it just wasn’t as funny as I expected or as good as people said) is the 2020 movie Barb And Star Go To Vista Del Mar. Movies starring Kristin Wiig are hit or miss for me, but when this movie came out, I saw so much hype on social media for this. I made my parents watch it with me because surely a movie so hailed would be of interest to them too. But I cannot begin to explain how much we disliked this movie. My parents, particularly my father, already don’t have a high tolerance for goofy comedy, so I expected to like it more than them, but even I hated it. It was silly and boring and nonsensical and just weird. I couldn’t believe it. I remember a week later I went through that hashtag on Twitter thinking that surely some people agreed with me, but I kid you not, I could barely find any negative opinions of the movie. It seemed like I was the biggest hater. It still shocked me months later when I saw people online mention it as being a possible Oscar nominee. The movie I watched was so bad. There’s no way it’s Oscar material. Did we all watch the same thing? For the life of me, I don’t know.

Concerned GIF.

It’s one thing to not like a piece of media that others do (example: I don’t like the musical Book Of Mormon, though I understand why people enjoy it and think it’s funny), but it’s another to not even understand how anyone can perceive it in such a way.

When it comes to movies and TV, I don’t think of myself as a snob. But it’s instances like the above that have me gaslighting myself somewhat (in an amusing way). Though aside from maybe a Tweet about how I disliked something or a rant amongst friends, I’m not out here spending my time being mad or angry that people have different tastes. I stand by my opinions, and maybe a little part of me does think that anyone who genuinely finds Barb And Star to be a quality film is in need of medical attention, but at the end of the day, this is all meaningless, and as I said, it’s interesting when it does happen.

Are we all looking at the same thing? gif.

What movies or TV shows (or even music) have had you questioning if you were even watching the same thing?

 

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