Digital Sludge

Anyone who might have hibernated for the last 100 years and just woken up would no doubt be dumbfounded by how life works in 2017.  In no other hundred-year period in history would that be true to the same degree as the last 100.

Seeing how we jet around the world, live in 50-story high-rises, and carry closely guarded hand-held communication devices would be jaw dropping.  This modern Rip Van Winkle may also be perplexed by how data is transmitted through the air to the multitude of devices we use to communicate.

We would need to explain to Rip that our computers, tablets, and in particular our handheld devices can do almost anything, from ordering groceries, to taxis, taking photos, making movies, bank transactions, listening to music of any kind, to instantly accessing the information of virtually all the libraries in the world.  And much more.  He would readily see that all this information, data and media, moves invisibly through the air.  That would sound farfetched, but Van Winkle would eventually believe by experiencing, just as we do.router-1

We are all dependent on WiFi today.  In fact, we are demanding it everywhere. Whether on a mountain top or a subway, when it’s not available, we’re lost.  If not lost, perhaps feeling a little empty.  It’s perplexing enough to think of data moving through wires.  For that same data to be converted and coded, and transmit itself through the unseen airwaves, then recoded back to intelligible media is downright flabbergasting, at least for the less-than-genius of us.  How could sophisticated data be so quickly and magically transformed, ride on non-ionized radio waves in the form of “1’s” and “0’s” and arrive recognizable almost instantly?

In our current reality, most of us don’t give much thought to the process. It just happens.  Many times not fast enough.  However, any pipe or pathway carrying stuff accumulates contamination over time.  Drano to the rescue for many of our home pipes.  We are becoming careful about what we eat so as not to clog up our internal ducts.  But what about the digital pathways?  Yep, they also become clogged.  These electromagnetic signals get jostled and misplaced. Sometimes an errant 1 or 0 get digitally hung up.  When the hangups build up, things get sludgy.

We are fairly certain that the frequency of radio waves don't harm us

We are fairly certain that the frequency of radio waves don’t harm us

The solution? The simple act of unplugging our WiFi router (the coder/decoder) once in a while has the affect of a good cleaning. As we know, purging is an activity better done on a routine basis.  You can let it go, but like the bathroom, the environment gets nastier over time.

Some even suggest a daily router cleaning.  But a weekly WiFi router recycling habit is a smart practice for keeping digital sludge to a minimum.

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