Sometimes in life, we have to make the difficult decision to let our voices be heard. Over Easter, I used the format of an A.A.Milne type poem to rail against recent Internet issues. In this piece, I am using MY voice (with which, of course, you are free to disagree) to flag up more specific concerns. I am damned sure I am not alone…
The only time I am getting hits at present is for a brief, weird surge some time during the afternoon. Nothing happens over night. Has WordPress decided not to work the night shift or something? Visits during the day appear to build up, like chronic constipation, and then…
I shall leave the rest of that image to your imagination – other than to say that a once-a-day visit to the blogging ‘lavatory’ for unsatisfactory ‘relief’ is not what I would call a good experience by any stretch of the imagination…
My posts are not registering on Facebook, though I share them with this and other Social Sites – and, on the few occasions when they are visible, comments from friends do not show: All I get is a note saying that the link to my piece cannot be accessed.
I am aware that there is some kind of problem with Google: Response times are coming in at two hours or more, and have done, for the most part, for WEEKS. Emails arrive in clumps – HOURS late.
What really alarms and annoys me, however, is the lack of honesty from the sites I have mentioned. Google, for example, keeps up the pretence that nothing is wrong – and yet the bloody engine seems to be crashing constantly. I would venture to suggest that having to wait 135 minutes, 250 minutes or more for an email communication to arrive is pretty bloody shoddy.
If it were a plane, or a bus, or an ambulance, we would be up in arms. Quite right too. If, during my teaching days, I had turned up for a lesson two hours late, I would have been disciplined, would have faced the sack.
WordPress too: I have yet to receive an email from the Powers That Be explaining, to us all, what is going on and why – and perhaps apologising for any inconvenience, frustration or needless trips to computer experts to find out why laptops are delivering such poor service at present.
Do these powerful conglomerates think that we are all too servile and terrified to notice? That we feel constrained, by politeness and wish to please (desire to be popular and get thousands of hits), to say nothing, to maintain the illusion that all is well? That they are not obliged to keep us in the loop about ‘issues’ with a service we use?
Well, bugger that. If this were an item we had bought in a shop (and which had, subsequently, turned out to be sub-standard), we would, I feel sure, be a damn sight more strident, angry and in-yer-face. We would be complaining – vociferously – and demanding a refund.
But with a Blogging Platform? Or a powerful Search Engine? Gods, no: Can’t make a fuss about that! Might not attain Top Blogger status if we do. Might not get Fresh Pressed. Hits might dry up to nothing. Followers might fuck off in disillusioned herds. Worst of all: Might get Blacklisted – as a Trouble-Maker – by Senior Management and punished, put on Stage Five of the Suspension Procedure.
This, my friends, is how those at the top – be they politicians, head teachers or Internet Bosses – keep their power intact and maintain this weird, illogical hold over the Lower Orders.
A kind of international, ‘You can’t say that!‘ keeps too many of us in an effective stranglehold. The threat of being ostracised, sent to Coventry, shouted at stops too many of us from doing, and saying, the right thing, from standing up for our own rights and those of others.
Too frightened to show our heads above the parapet, we allow the metaphorical and ghastly Trench Warfare to continue unabated.
Filled with the insidious fear that it is just us, just our laptop, our lowly status as bloggers, we wait for someone else to notice, to say the magic words, to shout, ‘This is not right!’
We fear, in a word, that we are imagining it – or simply not techno-savvy enough to understand, and appreciate, the endless tweaks of a pointless new system.
Over-reaction to a mere Internet problem? May be. But I think it points to a much wider and more universal problem. It points to our human need to let someone else say the unsayable; to complain and get angry; to rage at things wilfully swept under life’s carpets; to hope that, if we do not say anything, someone else will do it for us – and then to feel the guilty relief when that person, or those people, are pilloried, turned against and punished.