Now that I have a mobile phone, I’ve decided to rant about this and e-mail.
I’ve ranted about e-mail before. I think it was poorly implemented to start with, lacking friendly, easy to use crypto for example, and got worse when HTML and scripts were added a few years later. The two decades of spam and e-mail worms scared most people away into more dubious channels of communication. E-mail is no longer the first channel like it used to be ten or so years ago. People text each other instead from smart phones instead. SMS is now one of the most widely used communications protocols in the world these days.
I don’t really like SMS.
- Mostly because of hardware limitations the messages have to be short.
- It’s not really easy to archive them permanently. I have e-mail going all the way back to the early 90s.
- For various reasons its hard for other Internet communications protocols to get into the SMS channel. I can send short e-mails to SMS but I have to know what I’m doing.
- Related to the point above, it is hard to get things out of SMS and onto rest of the Internet. Sorry, I don’t tweet for the same reasons I only grudgingly use Facebook.)
- Like e-mail, encryption wasn’t built into it and is not friendly to add.
- The mobile phone companies often still charge you to use it even though its bandwidth is lower than actual voice communications–none dare say that’s a scam.
SMS doesn’t really support depth or real privacy. Sure, it can be social networking but, like most social networking tools these days, it’s all centralized through third party companies and walled gardens. If social networking is the thing, I want it to be fully under my control. Sadly many of my friends aren’t as technical as me and so, to stay in touch with them, I have to use these dubious services.
Which is kind of sad. Decentralization seems to be a dying ideal on the Internet.
And it was an ideal. Probably because it counted on most people to be more careful and technically knowledgeable than they were. That was a very elitist and unfair assumption to make. To be fair and honest we should not expect people t0 be technicians to use this stuff and be assured of safety and reliability–that was the old Apple ideal right?
Now to post in Facebook that I posted this here, since Facebook, despite claiming otherwise, doesn’t really support exterior RSS feeds. Holy ned, I neglect the Internet for five or so years after the CSS/XHTML battle was won and here it is in a mess again.