A Question of Price

Your dignity is for sale

Created on
Writing Time
Reading Time
3 mins
Word Count
550 approx.

I’ve heard people talks about supporting local independent stores instead of buying from big brands: to help small businesses from dying. For years, I’ve just been tagging along with the concept of it. Until recently, I learnt about the term decentralization on the internet.

In the physical world, maybe we’re still having the choices. From eating at a local restaurant, renting an apartment, to basic necessities of life. For people living in cities, one can always go to a nearby store to buy what they need. Buying locally from small businesses to support the local economy and community. I guess we can cope with that and do what we can. I’m in for that.

In digital reality, I find that there’re similarities to the idea of “Think Local”. We’ve decentralized social networks Fediverse. People setting up their own networks / instances for people to share and connect. Staying away from centralized platforms owned by big techs such as Twitter, Instagram or Facebook. IndieWeb for people who create their own personal websites. Decentralized networks respect user privacy. For software or toolings, we’ve FLOSS. Not relying on big corporations, people can build our their and live on their own. This is a fascinating concept. I was very intrigued when I learnt about it. Count me in.

Honestly, I admire people who are very learned having the knowledge and ability to create technologies / advocates privacy. To an imbecile like me, I can barely tag along. If I’m to use my words to describe the concept in general, its: Independence matters.

But how about digital entertainment?

People subscribe to streaming services like Netflix, Disney+, HBO Max, and Prime Video for movies / TV Shows. Want to put on some music? You also subscribe to Spotify or Apple Music. All of the mainstream media companies are nationally owned.

If you want pleasures, you gotta pay. Fair enough. Not only paying with your hard-earned money out of your wallet, but also giving in all your privacy to them. They assume you accept the terms set by them. We surrender our freedom, user rights and privacy to them.

Don’t you think this is somehow contradicting ourselves?

This is capitalism. When it comes to personal enjoyment, we lose. They can buy you easily. Your privacy is part of the deal. We handing over our personal data to big techs to trade for pleasures. The spirit of independence suddenly all goes away. This is a war that you can’t pick to fight with. We want to consume. Everyone needs entertainment at some point. To fight against your own desires? Too hard.

This is A Question of Price.

If you don’t like being stalked online, then you better not use the internet, at all. It’s nearly impossible to escape from the control of Big Techs. Unless you go to a forest and become a caveman.

I mean, I want to support locals and small businesses. I joined the Fediverse and started using FLOSS. But I’m using a Macbook, an iPhone and subscribed to Netflix watching on a Sony Bravia TV. They’re not small brands by any means. Does that make me a hypocrite? You tell me.

I’m a sheep, just like everyone else.

Then why bother?

Because it’s worth trying, despite we’re flawed.

I’m inspired by a short story Freak written by @bbbhltz. I love the story, and this is how I interpreted.

This is #Day25 of #100DaysToOffload.