Lets see … for business there’s the essential word processor, spreadsheet, and presentation software. For convenience and compatibility all of that has to be the same as everyone else is using, and is subscription based so there is a yearly cost. Then there is the business and personal photo/image processing and audio production software. I have stayed away from subscriptions there, but those darn developers keep coming up with new and improved versions, some of which are paid. Add to that a random smattering of smartphone apps that seem insignificant until you actually do the math, and the ongoing cost of working and living around computing devices, above and beyond the substantial costs of the devices themselves, is surprisingly high. And it sort of sneaks up on you. I don’t normally think much about it, but yesterday a number of software updates just happened to coincide in a way that was impossible to ignore.
I suppose that is just the reality of the “first world” where everything is connected via computers and the Internet, and where not being connected can be much more than just a little inconvenient. All signs point to deepening digital dependency too. As convenient and as liberating as it can be, I can’t help feeling that it has a darker, scary side that we need to be aware of. Snowballing software costs are just the tip of the iceberg.