Wednesday, 14 November 2012

Ain't Nothing Free

I have a friend, a social media expert, who advises never to pay for anything on the internet you could otherwise get for free.  Good advice, and I have followed it.  Good advice, but not great advice.

As a result, I have free apps on my smartphone that do half the job, which is fine when it's only half a job I need.  And so, from time to time, my knowledge is incomplete (by half) but my wallet remains full. 

Trouble is, ain't nobody looking in my wallet.  They're just listening, reading, waiting for me and wondering why I don't always have the full picture.

Ain't nothing free.  There's a whole lot of something out there that doesn't cost money.  Instead it costs in service, in time, in frustration and in reputation.  It costs in lost privacy, in information bombardment (to quote the title of Nick Bontis' book) and in an erosion of expectation

"You get what you pay for," was yesterday's advice.  I'd suggest that's still good advice for today.  I'll still be downloading apps without paying out of pocket, but I am under no illusion that any of them are free.  And feel free to demand all sorts of "freebies" from the people with whom you do business, but make no mistake; ain't nothing free.

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