Limited Internet

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A few days ago i complained about the change in the “unlimited” mobile data plans in the country. I think the change is a stupid mistake.

Yesterday, i saw myself struggling to herd 3 kids to follow my instructions of washing up, getting dressed, so we can stroll around our neighborhood mall.

I made all kinds of threats, no more Jolibee, no more Tabby, no more Puter, no more PS3, no more beach, no more Internet. Of all these, no more Internet sounds the most interesting.

I realized, Tabby is not the problem, it’s the content that Tabby has access to. Even if Tablets and PCs are powerful tools for creating something, it is also a powerful tool for consuming stuffs. And with the amount of junk that’s easily available out there, courtesy of Facebook and YouTube, it’s hard for kids to stay away.

What’s junky, are the one-way, TV like format, that’s designed for maximum entertainment, chemically mixed to trigger specific sensations, and delivered in short, fast-paced medium, designed for people to endlessly surf with as little effort as possible, turning their brains into useless mushy mix of well… zombie dinner.

It sounds very familiar, since it’s what the TV and the junk food industry has mastered for a long time. I think the same industry, has wisen up and started to capitalize on a new medium, that’s infinitely vast, with individual personalized channels, which offers exponentially more time slots to monetize. Instead of selling a single/region-based 30 secs advert time slot at a 7pm primetime show, it can now offer a thousand more 30 secs time slot across a new dimension of demographics-behavior-interest based market segmentation.

Why a lot of ad companies boast about their billions of impressions on games for kids, that probably got clicks from fatty hands thinking they were part of the game, is beyond me. They then celebrate to have that much impressions and clicks for a dishwashing soap from a market segment who dislikes washing the most.

Netflix has experimented about these segmentation with the way they categorize movies, and Facebook with the various interest and profile based targeted advertising. And there’s no stopping, and i won’t be surprised if they factor in movement data later on. Say, people who like running, works as a software engineer, likes to travel, and has walked at least 6,000 steps a day, will probably want to look at adverts around specialty coffee shops.

Ahh wait, i think this is getting long and ranty, we should go back to my story about this post. So starting last night, i made the effort of configuring the Time-based access restriction in our home router. As i expected, i was met with an angry mob, with all kinds of tricks, some “pa-cute”, some “i wish papa was like so-and-so”, and even like “papa is unfair, since he always has unlimited internet”.

But it only lasted for about 30 mins, and right away they started picking up the stuffs they used to do before i bought them Tabbys. My plan is to allow up to 2.5hrs of continuous Internet usage, with long breaks in-between, strategically set around breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

For the few minutes of no Internet this morning, Meg made this:

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Merry Christmas everybody!

I think this Christmas will be so much better with limited and less Internet use. Ironic, that 15 years ago, i would kill to have unlimited access, even if it’s only 33.6kbps.