You do not own anything

You do not own anything!

Do you realize that you could earn money, visit a store, virtually or physically, buy (pay for) an item i.e. a phone for example and yet it doesn’t belong to you. I can visualize the puzzled looks on some faces right now.

Alright so check this out. Once upon a time, you went to a store and you bought something, anything, and it was yours completely, forever and ever and ever until the end of time. You could modify, give it away etc. it was yours to do as you pleased with.

Now, it’s not that way anymore

You do not own anything

Let me give instances…


Smartphone manufacturers usually have certain regions that they operate in and regions that they don’t.

Taking a company that I know very well as an example, let’s look at Xiaomi.

Xiaomi operates in China, India and Nigeria for example but doesn’t have offices or phones for places like Cuba, Iran or Syria.

So last year, a group of traders decided to buy Xiaomi phones online, on the cheap and take them to Cuba to sell.

They paid for these phones in full. They had receipts, cartons and were the full legal owners.

When they took these phones to Cuba, they began to resell them and people began buying. As soon as these final consumers turned on their location and data…

Xiaomi locked their phones. You can read about it in detail here.

Note this, any company can wake up and for any reason, whether valid or not, decide to lock your phone.

Why? It is still sort of their property. Well, sort of. I’m not a lawyer, neither am I legally inclined but think of it like this…

Your identity card from your university or workplace, it has your name and photo and belongs to you, but it is still a property of the body that issued it.

As a result, a workplace or university can reclaim their card if certain terms and conditions were violated.

People should learn to read the T&C’s a lot more than they do.

These companies may not go to the extreme and simply lock your phone but they could do other things.

Like Apple has been caught many times using software to slow old iPhones down especially when new ones enter the market.

Then you’ll see some useless marketing shenanigans like our new iPhone is 30 times faster than the last one.

Samsung was also caught recently using GOS software to slow it’s flagship phones down as wellIn their defense, the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 was a hotplate that drank battery and heated up like crazy.

So they had to find a way to keep the phone cool and conserve battery. But on the other hand, it is also an indictment of Samsung’s 4nm process and how much of a disaster it was.


It’s not just smartphones that this thing affects. Mercedes has also decided to lock it’s acceleration behind a paywall.

Mercedes locks top speed on EVs behind a paywall

For you to drive a car to reach a certain speed. A car that you paid for. With your money again. 😂😂😂


Even games, especially the ones bought from online services like Steam, Xbox live or Playstation now, you do not own them.

Those games do not belong to you.

In fact, if you have hardware (Playstation, Xbox, Nintendo Switch etc.) that has not been jailbroken yet, even the physical disc that you buy off third party vendors are useless.

If you by any chance violates Steam’s T&C, your entire collection of games may be locked away and your account deleted. It doesn’t matter if you paid top dollar or Naira for those games.

Cloud storage

What about cloud storage services?

Saving your stuff on other people’s computer and then paying them a fee.

The day you fail to keep up with your payments, your stuff is now their stuff. 😈

Microsoft are the worst! They are basically forcing Microsoft live on their users all the time. You want to use Word or Excel, open a Microsoft account.

Me: All I wanna do is type a document bro. Just a document.

Microsoft: It doesn’t matter, you must open an account.

Media Streaming

All your songs on Apple Music or Spotify are inaccessible until you pay your subscription. Your shows on Netflix, HBO, Amazon prime, Disney+, Hulu, Showmax etc. do not belong to you.

The subscription model

Basically in this new digital world, you do not own anything. Nothing at all. Everything is either rented or used as a gateway to access services from a particular company.

What we pay for is a license to temporarily use certain software or hardware services from different hardware manufacturers or software developers.

That’s all there is to it.

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