The Dichotomy of Free

If we take the notion of “Free” at face value, there is an interesting dichotomy, especially online. On the one hand you have the consumer who, especially if they are digital natives, is used to and expects free. Free Facebook, free YouTube, free music, free movies, free media.

On the other hand, you have the consumer as a provider. Not all Internet users are unemployed living at home and logging on from our parents’ basements; some of us have jobs and are quite productive. We would never consider working for free.

Yet when we are online, we seem to expect it and even go to great lengths and make enormous sacrifices to not have to pay for anything and watch a sports event through a dodgy, grainey stream where the dubbing is off by just enough to be frustrating.

Like I said, an interesting dichotomy.


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