Things I Hate #003: Cross-Device Connectivity and “The Cloud”

Just recently, both my phone and laptop broke around the same time and as a result I was confronted with the always intimidating process of attempting to jump through the hurdles of setting up a new device, only this time, doubly so. Now, apparently, since the last time I had to do this, it’s been decided that “consumer ease” is the big buzzword priority that all technology has to cater to, because I was prompted no less than 20 times over the course of the two set ups to “link” a variety of apps, devices, usernames, passwords, contacts, pictures, songs, tweets, birth rights, fingerprints, hair follicles, and feces samples. Ok, so maybe that’s a bit of an exaggeration. I don’t actually have any tweets.

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“Insert Poop Disc 2?”

I assume that all of this connectivity is so that no matter where I go, or what I’m on, I’ll be comforted by the knowledge that I’ll always have access to my digital collection of tentacle porn. But you know what? Sometimes, I don’t want everything I own to be in reach at all times. Not only that, but for something that is supposed to consolidate all of my stuff, there’s an aggravating amount of excess that comes with it. An example: between my phone and my computer I have four different programs that are all basically Gchat. To my surprise, upon setting up my phone, my log in information was automatically shared with each program, and now whenever someone sends me a message, I get it four times. My phone did not ask me if it could do this. It just assumed, using a clearly superior understanding of my own desires than I have, that OBVIOUSLY it was just saving me time and doing me a favor by installing these preferences automatically. But I also have to give credit to the brilliant choice of the design team to make it so that I can’t figure out how to log out of any of these. God forbid I wouldn’t be online when a friend needs to text me, “hey hey”. (Or in my case, “hey hey” “hey hey” “hey hey” hey hey”).

ShoePhone

The good ol’ days. When a man was a man, and a shoe was a phone.

I guess this is all just an inherent feature of “living in the cloud”. But let me ask you this: when you think of a cloud, what’s the first thing that pops into your mind?  Connectivity? Ease of Access? You know what I picture when I see a cloud? RAIN. STORMS. Why do we back up all of our important data to “the cloud” when one of the main defining features of physical clouds is that they are completely unstable and will break apart and seriously fuck up your plans when they get overburdened? The last thing I want my data to do is suddenly fall back down upon me in a gushing uncontrollable torrent of old high school essays and stolen music. And that lightning has got to be bad for the electronics.

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“That cloud looks like a shark, and that cloud looks like technological determinism.”

Maybe I’m just old fashioned. I used to consider myself fairly adept at all these new computer shenanigans, but the more “advanced” they get, the more I feel like my control is being taken away from me for what I’m being told is my own good. Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to just put on my coke-bottle glasses, hitch up my suspenders, pop in my dentures, and go yell at waitresses.

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