‘Could I please have a flat white and your wi-fi password?’
*side eye* ‘We don’t have wi-fi because we want people to talk to each other and not stare at their phones.’
And so began an exchange in a cafe near my flat. I’d just moved to a new neighbourhood which is packed with independent cafes, the majority of which deliberately do not offer wi-fi. Since then I have started noticing some things are slowing down and, in these times of information overload, getting back to the good old days of sharing stories and knowledge through beautifully printed artifacts or more slowly, carefully and thoughtfully and ad free online (see newbie info and news sharing social networks This and Ello as examples).
In the past two weeks I have had an unusual number of conversations about magazines and apparently lots of my pals are subscribing to magazines. Like the paper things you hold that has pages you turn. I don’t know why I am surprised, especially as I grew up in the 90’s devouring punk zines and more mainstream classics like Interview, Sassy, Ms and Bust (just to name a few), and I really miss sitting quietly focusing on the words and images in my hands and of course other people do too. This is not to say magazines have gone away since the 90’s but in my circles they’ve mostly gone online, content is expected to be free at all times and print has been reserved for art mags or hipsters. Since my friend Sarah put me on to Stack magazine magazine service and Offscreen magazine, I am seriously considering taking out subscriptions with them, however, I don’t pay for any content online and have never even considered it. I’ve made one donation to one podcast producer in my life despite podcasts being such a huge part of my every day. I immediately close web pages with too many ads on them even if I really want to see the content. Yeah, I installed ad blockers. Da fuq?
So the possibility of buying print content has got me thinking about how I don’t buy digital content and I can’t believe I’m one of those people.