Google was a clean and simple search engine. AOL was there for those who were OK with the convenience of more central control. AOL steered you to use their internet connection, browser, email, their version of searching to find AOL sports, shopping, entertainment, finance, news, travel, etc. Every move you made on the web could happen under the AOL regime.

Today, Google wants you to create a user name and password. Register, sign in, and hand over your cell phone number for security in case you need to update your password. Google wants you to use your Google ID to sign in to an expanding number of sites on the web. If you are away from home and logging in on a different device, they might think you are a scammer/spammer and may take you into a tortuous process to verify who you are. What was the house number across the street from where your best childhood friend grew up? I quit. No more logging in.

Prior to the midterm elections, I went to the web and searched for:

Will midterm voters be angry about the stock market? and similar searches.

Is the stock market an issue for voters?

All I was able to find was predictions for future market performance.

Random thoughts:

The internet has been in our homes for 25 years. Any changes that took place should have been for the purpose of making it more simple, faster, quicker and easier to use.

20 years ago, comment sections on local newspaper websites were more open and available to use. Various papers have now eliminated comment sections. Elsewhere on the web, comment sections may be hard to find, eliminated, or more restricted than ever.

Bad people might post distasteful content so we all face information suppression or warnings to help us to avoid suggestive images, etc. If Mom and Dad want to set up child safety protocols at home, that is good with me. Just leave the rest of us alone.

Want to learn about beer? You don’t get to look at the brewery web site unless you enter a date of birth. A meaningless honor system awaits. Just tap in any bogus qualifying numbers and you are on your way. Take That-adolescent males who are goofing off on a Saturday night.

When I was a kid, each of the 50 states were free to set their own minimum drinking age. That’s all gone now. We drank underage for years with no help from the internet.

We do not have regular TV at home. A good thing. We use streaming/internet TV. The old days of watching sports are gone. Today, go out and purchase the sports bar/casino style viewing subscription to watch your favorite team. If you’re happy with that, hold on because next year the team might not sell broadcast rights to the same company, a new contract may be in place, etc.

My wife has several passwords for several streaming/internet TV sites. At times, these can seem like they are not ready to work until you log in again, etc. These sites offer limited content. The old VHS tapes seem like a more simple idea.

We tried to watch a YouTube channel on our TV last night. This guy was exploring in the desert out west. A nice change from constant Pacific storms. He had a play list of his desert camping and travels. Good luck finding the play list on the TV viewing format.

A while back I went to the web to find any company that would do roof repairs in the town where I live. I landed on a web site that wanted me to enter my zip code. Seemed super spammy and scammy to me. Creepy. The old yellow pages seemed like a more simple way to go about it.