Airrick Dunfield

Developer / Designer / Educator

Journal / Intentionally Online #1

Intentionally Online #1

By Airrick Dunfield

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So the internet is a bit of a weird place. There are countless subscriptions to manage, hundreds of potential daily notifications to dismiss, and an endless barrage of new applications to stay on top of. We have access to millions of songs, movies, and books, and often I find myself on the couch scrolling through Netflix, wondering what I should watch.

This didn't used to happen to be the case. When I was growing up, you had two options listen to maybe 20 CDs in your CD binder. That was it. If you wanted more music, get ready to cough up $20 bucks for a new album after a trip down to a CD store. The second option? Well, it wasn't quite legal and often would crash the family computer.

The choice was pretty easy. After that, I often listened to the whole album because jumping around was clunky.

I am starting to feel like an old man on a porch when I look at the internet. There are too many options, so I scroll through Netflix and decide to scroll through Instagram instead (This is known as Analysis Paralysis). Which honestly doesn't often serve me, either.

So I've started an experiment. I going to use the internet with intention—wild concept, I know. The idea here is the software we use, the apps we use, and the people we pay for our internet services have a real impact on the direction of the internet's growth.

So I am intentionally signing up for a less convenient internet. One where as much of my money goes to creators as possible and one where I sign up for less and interact more.

This will be a long process, and I've already started. First, on the chopping block was Spotify. I think there's a lot of benefit to Spotify and the limitless access to music it gives, but my main gripe with it is how little they pay the people who create the music on their platform.

So I am switching to buying my music on Bandcamp, where the majority of my money goes directly to the artists I buy the albums from. 

I've been doing this for about three weeks now, and it's been tedious to move my record collection over to a digital format, but so far, I love being attached to my music this way again. Back in the 2000s, you lived and died by the artists on your iPod, so there is a sense of nostalgia here for me.

Next up, Netflix, I am coming for you.