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Random thoughts about the distinction between to have and to own

When looking at YouTube videos today I started to wonder. We have a digital presence, some people have a YouTube channel, an e-mail account or a Facebook Profile, But you cannot say you own those like you would respectively own a cd, a written letter or a social life. Social life being a concept being already somewhat obscure in regards to ownership.

When you own a house, a car, a tootbrush or a vacuumcleaner, those things by their intrinsical physical nature give value to that what you own. You can think you own all the e-mails in your e-mail account, but the physical presence is locked away in some server abroad. By choosing to have over to own you’re basically giving away value which could have possibly been yours.

Is that really a big deal? Most things physical and non-physical have a layer of emotional value, sometimes just a thin veneer and other times covered with a big layer of emotions. Should the perceived or maybe unperceivable value remain the same? In respect to an e-mail account is certainly does not, e-mails which may be emotionally valuable end up on page 50 of your interface. Because you do not own you do not set the conditions under which you use the service.

So the lack of physical ownership is not compensated by emotional ownership but rather replaced by some sort of usage value.

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