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FROM MY CORNER: The Digital Nightmare

Richard O'Brien Uncategorized

A reader asked if I really think that all of us have numbed brains from the Internet, that we are all somewhat stupefied. A good question. No, I don’t think our actual individual brains have actually gone dead.

What I mean is that the Internet industry has created a situation where most of their digital programs deny us the freedom to communicate with one another that we all possessed as little as twenty years ago.

It is simple fact that twenty years ago, phones allowed us to call companies and talk with a human being about any and all practical problems we were facing. That is not the case today. Today, our phone calls commonly guide us to a corporate website.

The corporatized digital industry has taken our freedom of speech from us and replaced it with pre-packaged computerized communication. When we have a problem with a dishwasher, a pc, or a car, or whatever, and seek assistance, what happens?

We reach a pre-planned, canned digital message that benefits the corporation we are trying to talk to. Our detailed concerns are forced into a digitally programmed system that does not allow direct human-to-human conversation.

Instead, our conversation is compelled to fit into the technical trap the corporation has designed to maximize their freedom and communication and minimize ours. Our ability to control our lives has to a very great extent been taken from us.

Is this a paranoid reaction by me? No. I contend it is not. It is a rational assessment of what has evolved since the advent of the Internet. Consider, almost all corporate communication now funnels through one tunnel: the Internet.

Practically every move we initiate to try to control our lives is forced to flow from our computers into the Internet. And there, it is directed by massive moneyed entities to some program designed by some corporation.

While we seek to solve some legalized bureaucratic requirement, the corporation which created the bureaucracy forces our effort into their designed communication scheme – which is not really designed to help us individually, but primarily to operate profitably.

It is a legalized scam, I contend, of major proportions. It is a societal norm we have come to accept that robs us of our our ability to effectively manage our personal life affairs.

Take Microsoft, as an example. We can no longer telephone anyone at Microsoft and ask for assistance. We must do so via computer through their online “support” program.  And that program is designed to minimize their human contact with us, in the pursuit of efficiency, to achieve more profit.

When did you last try to telephone the president or the president’s administrative assistant of a corporation you wanted to communicate with? Is it impossible? Almost. Always. And it is extremely time consuming and difficult.

Likely, – if you are very lucky – you will be shunted by phone to yet another online corporation that charges you yet new fees to provide the phone number or address. Or you will find you can only reach them via some computerized digital communication run by the corporation.

A new generation of young people simply accept this as reality. They are unaware    that an alternative reality providing them actual communication freedom is still possible, but has been legalistically aborted.

You probably have to be over fifty years old to understand what I am describing. Youth today is so used to answering the digital questions they face when they use the Internet for business affairs, they are unaware of the freedom they have never known.

Today, once you have sent a message via corporate digital programs and received an answer from them, the corporation typically totally ignores the questions you have asked. The norm to day is simply that they re-state their corporate policy regarding the issue you are concerned with.

When you follow up and point this out to them, they have a simple answer. They just ignore your questions and refer you again to the policy statement they have already sent to you – which policy most often still does not address your question at all.

And if you don’t like it, they don’t care. Because they know that 99% of all of us are just going along with their scheme, accepting it, and eventually embracing it as inevitable.

They have utterly finessed us into silent obedience.

Welcome to the brave new world of Digital Corporate Speak.

Hold onto your checkbook. The next new corporate fee is just a second or two away.

Go to www  . . . and we’ll take some more of your money for service – without providing service at all.

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