We need more lockers. Everywhere.
One of the turning points of my life happened back in 1992, after I had managed to connect to my mailbox from the flat I was renting and then again from a machine at my university computer lab on the same day. I understood that from now on all I will need to be able to work are going to be two sockets: one to power my computer and another to connect it to the internet. As the internet grew I gradually started getting rid of the old artifacts of the everyday life: newspapers, printed books, radio, and TV.
Today the process is almost complete, except for those moments when I realize that the world around me is ill prepared to help those of us who carry some gadgets around. and need a place to store them securely for a few hours.
This article is also available on Amazon Kindle. You may consider buying it, if you would like to keep it for your reference.
I crash with this reality earlier this year when I had to visit a US embassy for a chat with the consul. I had spent only an hour there, but the whole trip to and from Warsaw was a full 12-hour expedition during which I could only use my smartphone.
I could have taken a book or a newspaper with me, but as a “digital nomad” I refuse to finance the publishers of the printed press, because the journalists who write write for them know very little about my beloved internet and often write crap about it. What about books then? I buy them on the Kindle whenever I can, and I own very little printed book, mostly thick tomes on TCP/IP networking. They are not pocket books and hardly what you’d call light reading.
So why haven’t I taken my Kindle and my favorite netbook? I was traveling on a coach with good Wi-Fi connectivity after all. The reason for “going e-naked” were the embassy regulations that forbid visitors from bringing along electronic gadgets. You can only take a phone with you and it has to be given to the guards at the entrance for safe keeping. So I had no choice but to enjoy 12 hours of being connected poorly or not at all. I could perhaps travel across the city to store my stuff in the lockers at the Warsaw Central Station, but that would be taking things to an extreme. So my backpack stayed home.
That trip as well as some other trips I had to take this year to various places that take security very seriously made me think that what we need in this extremely connected world is a lockers with chargers to store our stuff. Could be good use of the empty spaces after the disappeared bookstores. The number of places that refuse entry with electronics in hands or bags is only going to grow.
This article was originally published on AntyWeb.pl.