As oppressed people go, we are pretty darn comfortable. Our relatively easy lives may be explained by the fact that no single person or group or ideology enjoys a monopoly to oppress us. In "the free world” there is a free, competitive market for oppression; our oppressors spend as much time and energy trying to outdo each other as oppressing us. In the free market for oppression any entrepreneur can try their hand at making people feel frightened, needy, insecure, oppressed or enraged enough so that they will click on any link, buy any contraption or concoction, vote any way, idolize anybody they believe will ease their pain.
Of course, most people don’t feel oppressed at all; in fact, quite the opposite. They are devoted to their screens and cloud-connected gadgets, just as most Soviet citizens were devoted to wise and fatherly Stalin. But just as devotion to Stalin was coupled with obedience, and obedience (as it always is) is coupled with fear, so is devotion to the internet. Just as a resident of a Moscow apartment in 1948 was free not to sign the letter accusing Mrs. Sokolov of buying Swiss chocolate on the black market and hiding it in her underwear drawer, you can exercise your free will and not update a device. And just as the recalcitrant Moscow apartment dweller would fear the next letter might be about them and was not surprised when their bread rations were suddenly reduced, so the recalcitrant internet user, who refuses to update, becomes more fearful of hackers and is not surprised when some of their apps begin to go wonky.
And while we suffer infinitely less physical oppression than did the citizens of the U. S. S. R. (if we are white) still, if in the middle of dinner something rings, pings, beeps or vibrates, we put down our knives and forks to attend to our master’s voice or, if we don’t, even if we are not subjected to insistent repetitions of the jingling, pinging, beeping, brrrring, we cannot return to our meal without a tinge of anxiety about the possible consequences of having missed something important.