Reader “Justin” asked me what I thought about Net Neutrality the other day, and my response was basically “Not Much”.
His question and the ensuing conversation reminded me of a broader topic, which is “What about the proletariat?”:
The proletariat (from Latin proletarius, a citizen of the lowest class) is a term used to identify a lower social class; a member of such a class is proletarian. Originally it was identified as those people who had no wealth other than their children.
Essentially, he wanted to know whether I had sympathy for people that aren’t as well-established as I am in Video Editing and Social Media, who wouldn’t be able to easily procure alliances with larger groups that might be willing and able to pay whatever will be required if the telecom companies are successful in imposing a tiered service model in order to control the pipeline.
The answer to that is “Yes, I have sympathy for people that wouldn’t be able to pay.” and “No, I don’t think about this issue at all.”
There are two reasons I don’t think about the proletariat in this situation.. 1) If people are forced to pay for levels of internet access, that’s only a change of rules to the game, and 2) There are people more efficient in discussing and dealing with this issue than I am, so there’s no point in my throwing in my two cents on a topic I don’t care about in the first place.
There are already rules to the Internet Game that I’m playing by. Lots of people use free internet hosting solutions for their blogs. I don’t. Already, I’m paying more money than other people are in order to have more control over my site and more customization options.
I spend more TIME on blogging and replying to comments from my readers than most people. Every hour I spend on social media could have been billed to a client, so I can add that to my social media costs.
When I go places, I need to be in touch with my eMail & Foursquare, so I have to have internet service on my phone. That’s another charge that my particular social media lifestyle incurs.
These all add up to the price that I pay to be involved in the Social Media Game or the Internet Game. I’m not ranked #11 on Google for my first name and ranked #5 for my last name for nothing. It’s because I pay the cost to be the boss.
Part of that cost is applying my thought-processing time to roadblocks that I personally need to hurdle to move forward towards those #1 slots, while simultaneously remaining relevant and current. So.. While I definitely have sympathy for people that this Net Neutrality issue will affect if it goes the wrong way, it merely represents a change in the rules of the game for me. If it happens, I’ll either a) align myself with a larger group that’s willing and able to pay the fees, b) pay the fees myself if they’re low enough and I care enough to do that, or c) take my toys and go home, finding a new game to play.
One of the reasons I feel this way is that I was putting shows on television for years before I even became aware that you COULD put video on the net. Internet Video is only 4 years old, as far as I’m concerned (I got involved in 2006), so if the ability to create and distribute shows on the internet becomes something only available to the elite, I’m one of the elite, so I won’t have any problems whatsoever with making the proper alliances.
Play Your Position
Meanwhile.. There are people who are very passionate about this subject and expend a lot of their time and energy (as well as earning potential) discussing, blogging about and protesting about this issue.
My uninterested, dispassionate two cents isn’t going to help much, as I’m not willing to research the issue or even think about it unless I see a microblog post about it somewhere. So, Even if I decided to dedicate processing cycles to this issue, it wouldn’t add to the proletariat’s bottom line more than it would subtract from mine, which is actually less than worthless.. It’s wasteful.
The bigger picture here is that a lot of people waste a lot of their personal thought-processing time blathering on redundantly about issues that other people are better-equipped to debate and offer solutions to.
My friends Charles & Dan are VERY, VERY into politics. I’m not. When we hang out, I drink my beer while they argue and debate and agree and argue and debate and agree and I just STFU. 😀
I don’t have anything to add, except maybe “I saw a photoshopped picture of Sarah Palin in a bikini“, which is absolutely WORTHLESS when an intelligent discussion is going on between guys that eat, sleep and drink politics.
If more people would realize they have nothing significant to add to the conversation and opt out of the redundant commiseration, they would see more productivity in their own lives, which they MIGHT be able to use to a significant advantage to make things happen when someone smarter than they are (or more passionate about the subject or more diligent in studying it) figures out a viable solution.
Too many people waste their time talking about water-cooler nonsense that they heard about on the news instead of applying themselves to their own particular strengths.
Consider something that you spend a lot of time thinking about… Is the time you’re spending actually helping anybody, or are you just keeping up with the Joneses and making sure your elevator-conversation drivel game is on-point? Is it putting you in position to make power moves when the time arises?
What would happen if you stopped wasting your time on things you’re not efficient at? How many hours would you add to your day that you could be working out, billing clients, enhancing your social media presence, lampin’ with a significant other, or working on your startup?
How much time do *YOU* spend worrying about other people’s issues?