Free

“If you’re not paying for something, you’re not the customer; you’re the product being sold” – Andrew Lewis.

Be careful with anything that is marketed as free. It is the ultimate entry point to addiction and then you lose control of your time, space, direction and magnitude.

Reading a work email on my current personal phone and I can’t help but wonder. Someone is asking for a feedback before the close of business today. Today is Sunday. My off day. But the person knows that I will read this email and that makes me obligated to respond.

How did I get here?

It started harmlessly some years ago. We will give you a “free” Blackberry phone, so that you can receive your emails on the go. I focussed on the free and on how nice a BlackBerry was at the time. I did not see the complete trade – what I would be giving up for this free blackberry phone.

For free, I gave up my time. For free, I gave up control of my thoughts. For free, I added a recurring distraction. For free, I added a source of needless worry.

The same applies to social media apps. When my friends ask me why I’m away from social media for long stretches, I tell them it’s too damn expensive.

I no longer have a BlackBerry phone. Definitely wouldn’t even accept one for free. I now own a personal Samsung Note 9, which I use more for work emails than all other tasks combined.

I am now more wary of “free”. You should be too.

– Osasu Oviawe

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