When I was younger and my metabolism was a good deal faster, The Old Country Buffet was one of my very favorite places to have a meal. Growing up, my family's idea of fine dining was always "mass quantities of food at a reasonable price." Fast service and good lighting were bonuses. I still get a craving for OCB's bread pudding with soft serve now and then.
I was thinking about the "all you can eat" model of consumption this weekend listening to National Public Radio. The focus of the Weekend Edition was the impact digital connectedness has had on our interpersonal relationships. (The interview with Sherry Turkle was excellent.)
The long and short of most of the stories was that continuous face-in-the-phone, the conversation-by-text, the romance by tweet is too new, too un-studied to be pronounced as positive or negative in most people's lives. How NPR!
I can't help but thinking that "unlimited text and talk" can't be much better for a person than "all you can eat." Even those of us who feel we have pretty good self-control may find ourselves digitally immersed more than we wish. (See Jeff Utech's great post asking "What does it mean to disconnect?")
What would happen if every tweet cost a quarter; every blog post cost five dollars; every e-mail a dime to the writer. Wouldn't we all be a bit more discriminating in what we sent?"
Added to this - what if every text and minute of call time was a nickel?
I've also had a chance to live (temporarily) with very high cost Internet access now and then:
I’m writing this blog post offline. Why? Because here at the Safari Park hotel just outside Nairobi, Internet access is sold in one hour blocks at 10,000 Kenyan Shillings a block. About $13.
It’s changing my Internet use already. I’ve become suddenly more discriminating about what I read online, what I download to read later, and what I skip altogether.
What I am asking myself is why do I not treat my time as valuable as my money, even when there is cheap 24/7 Internet access at home?
One can always find another dollar, but our hours are finite.
In my last couple posts, I've been advocating for greater internet access via BYOD in schools and classrooms.
Is there a balance that we proponents are ignoring?
Would you be reading this if it meant a financial as well as temporal cost?