Giving Up On The Internet?

from the just-not-worth-it dept

For all the stories of spam, scams and spyware online, are some people deciding that enough is enough, and logging off completely? The article just has a single anecdote, of one person who has disconnected her modem, and then uses the rest of the article to highlight all of the problems that have been discussed way too many times already. There have been a few similar articles in the past as well. It’s pretty clear that there isn’t a widespread rush to shut off the internet, but it is definitely true that some users just don’t want to bother with the constant security patching and making sure their anti-spam, anti-virus, anti-phishing, anti-hijacking and anti-spyware software offerings are all up-to-date and working. It still seems like most average users expect their ISPs to handle all of this for them, but the ISPs are afraid to take on the role, knowing that it’s quite difficult to manage. There’s a real market opportunity if anyone could figure out a simple, no hassle way to handle all of this — but clearly, we’re a long way off from that.

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Comments on “Giving Up On The Internet?”

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TJ says:

Each person's value judgment

Yes virtually identical articles appear occasionally about this. And really, so what? Some people want or need the Internet more than others. If an individual decides the costs and hassles outweigh the gain, they are welcome to disconnect. Certainly there are easier to manage alternatives, with Macs being the easiest package — albeit with a bigger upfront price tag.

Driving could be looked at in the same way: A New Yorker debates whether to keep driving. You can be in a wreck, you can get carjacked, you need to check tire pressure and oil and all kinds of other things. You have to pay for insurance and probably a lot for parking, and unless you are a whiz with cars you’ll pay someone to fix problems with it or keep buying a new one that’s under warranty. Some cars are easier to maintain than others, and a Volvo may be safer than a Kia. And my heavens, traffic is so awful. Driving is almost worthless there is so much traffic!

While the ability to drive anywhere can be quite a convenience, plenty of people take taxis, subways, bike, walk, etc. There are other ways to handle most things one can do with the Internet too, though I can’t imagine living without the convenience. If some people can, good for them. When did the net become a cult that people must not leave?

Andi (user link) says:

Re: Each person's value judgment

>>the machine sits unplugged…

She didn’t toss it in the trash or give it to the grandkids. Chances are she’ll give it another go… But she’s 69, many in that demo never even log-on. I doubt that this will happen often among younger users, but even if it does TJ makes a good point. Many can live without the internet just as many live without cars, cell phones or iPods…

xonk says:

The new ISP

I just read an article somewhere proposing that ISPs should offer a new service: the consumer buys access to a centralized system (mainframe?) and the ISP handles all of the patching, filtering and firewalls. Actual convenience for the average email/web surfer. I presume your home PC accesses some sort of proxy at the ISP. You could have all your email stored at the ISP (similar to gmail) and all your bookmarks too.

Joe (user link) says:

Re: The new ISP

This isn’t a new service. It’s called “terminal services.” Windows servers have had the ability to do this for years, and one could use a network appliance (basically a PC without a hard disk that boots to a remote OS). You can do this with Linux and other Unix systems as well.

Lots of businesses do it on their LANS. The downside to it is that it requires fairly hefty bandwidth, so it might not be sensible to those with dialup connectvity.

Sometimes I long for the days when the “web” was e-mail, ftp, and gopher. And you did everything from a plain text terminal.

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