I’m warning you now, this is going to seem like a pretty petty post but here I go anyway.
I was sitting with my iPad last night catching up on some reading. I have developed a habit of saving stuff I want to read to both Instapaper and Pocket. Both are terrific apps and each does a couple things better than the other. At the moment I am leaning more towards Instapaper but I’ll probably swing back to Pocket at some point for a while. That is sort of how I use app alternatives, I switch between them from time to time.
I noticed that my Instapaper subscription was marked as “inactive” and when I investigated I discovered that I had just paid for 3 months, although I had paid using a PayPal subscription I’ve been using since 2010 and it occurred to me that I hadn’t updated the payment references since Betaworks bought Instapaper from its creator, Marco Arment.
Instapaper subscriptions are a way to support app development and includes features like archive searches. It is a terrific app so I am happy to pay my $3 for 3 months at a time. When I saw that I had paid and that my subscription wasn’t active I became a bit annoyed and my first thought was to do what so many Twitterati members do when faced with something that displeases them: declare hatred for the service that didn’t live up to my absurd expectations as publicly as I could before moving completely to the competition. Because that is the mature way to really show them!!
That moment really caught my attention and I realised that so many of us have developed this self-righteous attitude and rather than being a real grown-up and resolving a situation, going public on Twitter with our few hundred or thousand followers seems like the way to throw our perceived weight around. I’m still including myself in this because although I have made a point of not being such a drama jerk online for a while now, my first thought was to be just that. Clearly I still have some way to go to reach a more balanced perspective on life and what it doesn’t owe me.
I sent an email to Instapaper querying this and I received a pretty quick response apologising and confirming that my subscription was loaded. What occurred to me is that it is usually better to try and resolve an issue maturely before exploding in 140 characters. The second thing I realised is that, sometimes, we should just make a decision instead of constantly switching between multiple options. This last lesson is still a little hypothetical because I still like Pocket and Instapaper and still save stuff to both but, really, I should just pick one and be happy with my choice.
We seem to have a knack for complicating our lives far more than we should, if we should.
Also, try not to be such an ass. You are probably not as important on Twitter as you think you are so develop some perspective.