Subscription Fatigue

App for that
Credit: Pixabay

Remember my music/phone debacle?  After that, I started thinking.  (Dangerous, I know, but bear with me.)  What do we own these days?

Now, don’t get me wrong.  I’m not a hoarder, I declutter often, and I’m generally good about letting things go.  I’d rather have an experience and memories than yet another thing/object.

But at the base, my frustration over the phone/music issue was because I own the things – the music and the phone.  I own them outright – they are not on loan, they are not borrowed, I am not still paying them off.  When I started looking for internet help with the issue, many of the responses were to get something like Google Play or Spotify.

I don’t want or need either of those.  My youngest has a Spotify account – but the notion of that still seems crazy to me.  Maybe it’s because I’m old.  I’ve paid for the account (a birthday gift) for a year now.  And when the subscription runs out, what is left?  Nothing.  Because you don’t own the music, you just pay to access it.

Same with lots of things – Netflix, Spotify, Adobe CC, Microsoft Office (or 365, or whatever it’s called now), Hulu – you name it, there’s a subscription/app for it.  But again, when you stop paying the subscription, what do you have?

Empty hands and empty pockets.

Now, I’m not saying that there isn’t value in these things.  Obviously there is, because people are using them.  So maybe it is just me.  For example, I want to own Photoshop, not rent it.  I want to own my office suite of products, not rent them.  Maybe that’s why I live in a house instead of renting an apartment.  Why I own my car instead of leasing it.  Why I still have DVD’s – which, come to think of it, I should rip onto my PC. I have a 1TB hard drive with lots of space to spare.  And digital storage is ridiculously cheap these days.

With college tuition for two suddenly looming over my budget, I’m trying to pay off debts as quickly as I can and saving as much as I can before next August.  Which means I’m paying a LOT more attention to my budget and discretionary spending.

House too cool?  Sweaters and hoodies instead of reaching for the thermostat.  Watch water consumption – shorter showers and as little laundry as I can get away with.  Eating home cooked meals instead of eating out.  Paying subscriptions for things I don’t actually need?  Ludicrous.  I don’t need Office 365 – there’s LibreOffice.  It’s free, open-source, and compatible with Office.  I don’t need Adobe CC – I only use Photoshop anyway, and there are free alternatives out there.  For now, I’m happy with my PS CS6 version.  Hulu, Netflix, and the like?  I can watch YouTube for free.

I guess maybe I just suffer less from FOMO than other people?  For example, I’ve never seen a single episode of Gilmore Girls, Breaking Bad, or Game of Thrones.  Do I miss some pop culture references?  Sure.  Not enough to matter.  And businesses with subscription models WANT you to keep paying for them, even if you don’t use them.  All I know is, I’m tired of everything becoming a subscription.  Plus, it’s been shown that when people use subscription services, they severely underestimate what they are spending.  This Money article from February 2019 addresses why people continue to pay for subscriptions, even when they aren’t using them (spoiler – it’s FOMO).

I’m hopeful that perhaps people are becoming more aware of the issue.  This article by Ernie Smith details how people are looking to move, change, or combine subs to save money.  (It mentions that you can get Hulu if you pay for Spotify – so I may have to check that out, since I do.)  TV/shows/movies are not a big deal for me – I rarely watch TV anymore anyway.  I haven’t been to a movie theater in over a year, at least.

Maybe I’m just becoming a Luddite in my old age.  Also – stay off my lawn! 😛

iColorama App

One of the blogs I read uses the iColorama app for digital art.  It looked intriguing and it wasn’t expensive ($3.99 if I remember correctly), so I bought it.  It’s not exactly what I thought it would be and it’s gonna take some time to learn it, but I can’t wait to play around with it.

My Procreate app is more like a scaled-down version of Photoshop for my iPad.  It uses layers like PS, it has a lot of the same filters and options as PS, and it works really well on my iPad, so it’s easy to take my drawing on the go with me.

iColorama doesn’t use layers, but it does have a lot of options for textures, filters, and the like.  I’m still figuring out how it works (hello, YouTube tutorials), but I’ve had fun just experimenting with some of the easy stuff.

(Side note – the iColorama app is the one you want for the iPad.  There is an iColorama S version out there that appears to be for your iPhone – make sure you’re getting the correct one for what you want!)

I tried out coloring one of my mandalas digitally with Procreate, but I wanted to see what I could do with the iColorama app.  Granted, I haven’t had much time at all to play with it, so I really just played with a couple of filters and textures, but it looks like a tool I will definitely use more once I understand how it works. 😀

So I took my Mandala 6 over into iColorama.  Here’s what I ended up with:

IColorama Paper MandalaIt’s the colored mandala I made in Procreate, but I added a texture filter in iColorama to make it look like this was colored/inked/painted on paper.  Pretty cool! Like I said, I still need to spend some time learning how to use iColorama, but I’m excited to have another tool in my box to use when I create.