My grandfather used to complain that technology was always at a point some way in front of him, and moving away at an ever increasing rate. In the eighties he complained that having four television channels was wasteful, as it meant that it was only possible to consume a quarter of broadcasts at one time. In the nineties he refused to tune the television to receive the new fifth channel on account of the fact that there were already plenty of broadcasts he wasn’t watching and didn’t feel the need to let any more go to waste. Now that he has passed on, I pray that his afterlife is a plane of gentle, asynchronous consistency.
“What?!” people would cry, almost physically recoiling with shock, “you’re still using dial-up?!”. The thing was, I liked my deliberately crippled little internet. I liked the fact that the web didn’t play music at me or coax me into filling hard-drive after hard-drive with media files. I liked the fact that only the good things worked: the fast, efficient, lean and mean things flew in while the bloated crap stayed away. But most of all, I liked the fact that the internet was something that went on somewhere else: I wasn’t surfing so much as spectating, and I could pull the plug as I wished.
I think the real problem was that I liked the thinternet too much, and I spent more and more time using it. But, with the passing of time, it “improved” (as in: got more and more bloated until became unusable). So, I wasn’t simply spending time doing more things, I was spending more time doing things. I can’t remember exactly what it was that provoked it but, one morning in late spring, I snapped. I needed bandwidth, and fast.