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Why it’s time to cancel your Amazon Prime account

27 November 2018

From Fast Company:

Yesterday was Cyber Monday and already Amazon has revealed many flowery statistics about all the ways it earned tens of millions of dollars in a matter of hours. Amazon does this every year–it’s how it reaffirms to the world its dominance. But in the background something else is afoot, and it’s been slowly gaining traction: a backlash.

Yesterday, on Vox’The Goods, writer Rebecca Jennings wrote about the slow and steady movement of people and organizations realizing that Amazon may actually be bad.

“Having covered Black Friday for the past few years, I’m used to the infinite roundups of Amazon’s best Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals–which, to be sure, won’t be going anywhere as long as publishers are able to monetize them,” she wrote. “But what I hadn’t seen as much before this year were media companies openly discouraging readers from shopping at Amazon.” Two examples she brings up are The Ringer and Gizmodo–both of which wrote pieces this year dissuading its readers from using the e-commerce platform.

. . . .

Similarly, individuals have joined the call too. Jennings points to numerous tweets–most of whom come from the loud but incestuous media twitter circle–of popular accounts imploring their followers to break ties with the company. (A search of Google Trends for the search query “cancel Amazon Prime” shows a spike last December, followed by a steady decline.) Other smaller creators have also tried to foster positive reinforcement in name of canceling Amazon Prime; online ceramicist and writer Marian Bull (who’s also, full disclosure, a friend of mine), held a brief sale on her Instagram imploring followers to part ways with the Amazon beast.

Link to the rest at Fast Company

PG suggests there are eight million stories in the naked internet. This has been one of them.

PG further suggests there are millions and millions and millions of tweets in the naked Twitter. If you spend five minutes searching, you can find a “Twitter trend” for any topic that might interest you and 15 of your followers.

Twitter makes it possible for online journalists to identify emerging trends and write their stories without actually interacting with any living person who does not exhibit symptoms consistent with a high likelihood of galloping bonkerhood. (See Geographical Distribution of Insanity in America: Evidence for an Urban Factor, which PG suggests could be updated to “Geographical Distribution of Insanity in America: Evidence for a Twitter Factor”)

Having just conducted 20 seconds of Twitter research, PG can announce the following:

  1. People on Twitter like to joke about how spending so much time there has given us all brain damage. Being online, or worse, Very Online, can often feel indistinguishable from descending into madness. Our brains simply cannot have been designed to withstand such a constant onslaught of conflicting information at once.
  2. Research conducted by the University of Pennsylvania, found that Twitter users with ADHD tended to tweet differently than those without ADHD, in a variety of ways: They were found to be less agreeable, to post more often and openly, and to swear more often than Twitter users who didn’t have ADHD, according to the research.
  3. Forecasting the onset and course of mental illness with Twitter data. Researchers developed computational models to predict the emergence of depression and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder in Twitter users. . . . State-space temporal analysis suggests that onset of depression may be detectable from Twitter data several months prior to diagnosis. . . . A state-space time series model revealed indicators of PTSD almost immediately post-trauma, often many months prior to clinical diagnosis. These methods suggest a data-driven, predictive approach for early screening and detection of mental illness.

UPDATE: Per Meryl’s request, the Piffle video makes an appearance here.

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Amazon, Social Media

14 Comments to “Why it’s time to cancel your Amazon Prime account”

  1. “But what I hadn’t seen as much before this year were media companies openly discouraging readers from shopping at Amazon.”

    Must have only gotten internet or TV services this year then, as the ADS has been there since almost day one.

    So the OP either lives in a cave or is just another ADS idiot – or both …

    MYMV

  2. I’m not on Prime because media companies love it or hate it.
    I’m not on the media payroll and beholden to them.

    As long as Prime saves me more in shipping than it costs me, I’m staying regardless of what the media lemmings may think.

    To each their own…

  3. Can we get that Piffle video here too?

  4. Analysis looks at all the factors. Advocacy picks the factors that support some chosen position. Vox is an excellent outlet for advocacy.

  5. I love how the OP assumes everyone in the US at least has a Prime account. And that their opinion is powerful enough to convince everyone who has one to cancel their Prime accounts.

  6. You really left a lot on the table when excerpting that post, PG.

    The old ADS was “Amazon is going to destroy bookstores and publishing” (these people are currently in the denial phase.)

    The new ADS is all about workers rights and mindfullness.

    Part of a quoted tweet…

    Convenience, as delivered by Amazon, is a form of environmental debt, to be paid back by our children.

    Part of her friends Instagram post…

    “[H]ey I fucking hate Jeff Bezos so if you cancel your prime subscription and DM me a screenshot I’ll send you a free cup

    Emphasis mine…

    This new, loosely organized movement does all seem to coalesce around the realization that Bezos has created a streamlined system of commerce that consumers believe they need.

    people just as soon forget about the labor system underpinning their expected two-day delivery. Amazon’s has become a modern day serfdom.

    More and more, others are calling for increased mindfulness when submitting to the e-commerce beast.

    • “Mindfulness,” eh?

      From the people that flaunt their Tesla car (assembled by workers that are sent back to the lines, literally with broken bones). From the people that flaunt the latest and greatest iPhone (assembled by Chinese workers that are essentially slaves).

      I’ll be “mindful” – and completely ignore the hypocrites.

    • @DaveMich

      “More and more, others are calling for increased mindfulness when submitting to the e-commerce beast.”

      Oh? And just who are these “others?” I doubt they’re very many Amazon shoppers in that vague, undefined group. More likely snooty “activists” who “decry” anything the majority of folks do, say, or buy that doesn’t jibe with their oh-so-refined worldview.

      And what the H is “mindfulness” anyway?

      • Mindful people who consider themselves on the right side of history know there is a line beyond which the majority should not be allowed to make decisions like this in their individual self-interest. When the majority disagrees with them, they call it populism and undemocratic.

  7. If I never ordered a single physical product on Amazon again, my Prime membership would still be worth it from an cost-to-benefit standpoint. We watch and enjoy many, many shows that are exclusive to Prime Video. I also take advantage of free books. I more than make up for the $120/year I pay.

    And as far as the OPs description of Amazon warehouses as “Dickensian,” I suggest that people today have no clue how bad conditions were 70 years ago for warehouse workers in the US, much less 200 years ago in GB.

    I worked in a party supple warehouse in the 90s. It was completely non-stop, with mandatory overtime. The work was back-breaking. There was neither heat nor air conditioning in the warehouse. When I got to go on deliveries the job wasn’t so bad, but that wasn’t every week. I made $8.50/hr. I was grateful for the job, and to not be working fast food.

    And I kept applying for better jobs. Just like I always have.

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