Thursday, April 21, 2011

On Becoming A Number

More and more people are deciding they don't need a telephone "landline".  After all, why pay for one if you carry your cellphone around with you all the time anyway?  However, because I work from home out here deep in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains - and our cellphone reception is suboptimal - we still have a landline.  And thus, despite the current tendency to "bundle" one's internet and cable/satellite feed with one's landline and cellphone feeds, we still "bungle" out here, ie. have a satellite TV provider who is different than our telephone landline provider who is different than our cellphone provider who is different than our internet provider.  (I hope that with the completion of a powerful new transmission tower several miles to the north of us we may be able to become bundlers, but until then ...)  And eventually I believe everyone everywhere will bundle everything for economic reasons.  Logic dictates that the burgeoning capabilities of smartphones these days means that the ten-digit number associated with same could plausibly be the sole reference point for all the electronic media you subscribe to.  Extending this further, why not make that number our Social Insurance Number, income tax account number, healthcare number, etc., and assign it to us when we're born?  The digital age demands that we're enumerated for everything anyway, after all.  Of course with 7,000,000,000 people soon inhabiting our orb, that unique number may have to be longer than ten digits some day.  But whatever that unique number is - and despite the fact we all hate when we're "treated like we're just a number" - we will have become one.