Are we expecting too much for free?
Is it a question of ‘you get what you pay for’ or ‘the best things in life are free’?
Has the internet age brought about the expectation that we should no longer pay for anything?
Growing up, if I wanted anything, book, camera, latest toy, I was encouraged to save up and buy it. When I bought whatever item it was appreciated. But has technology and the internet changed expectations?
I was chatting to someone about a charity project they were running. Part of their fundraising initiative included producing and selling a music CD. In order to cater to those who preferred to download their music straight to digital devices, they also made it available online as download – for which a payment should have been made. They hadn’t factored in the ‘sharing’ aspect of sites such as Spotify, where they discovered the music for their charity CD was now being enjoyed and shared for free.
Should we complain about something if it’s free?
Similarly, although we may complain about social networking sites such as twitter and facebook when they make changes (privacy issues aside) or are temporarily inaccessible, as users we pay nothing and simply use a free service. Do we have a right to complain if a free of charge service does not live up to our expectations?
With information available on the web at the click of a button, and many e-books now available for free, do we expect too much for nothing? If we expect too much for free will the quality of information available to us decline as a result?
What should we expect and be prepared to pay for?