I will forgive your intermittent coverage, sudden drop outs in the middle of iplayer or YouTube videos, and general inability to cope with several internet tabs and Football Manager simultaneously. Today’s death of the power lead to our modem (don’t worry, another is already on order thanks to mobile internet) has made me realise how much of my day is now spent connected to the internet.
I can’t imagine what it was like trying to do a PhD when you couldn’t google a book name, or the dates of a composer, or whatever. I certainly wouldn’t have been able to do as much work from home as I have, and probably would have to have spent writing time in the library to look thee things up (or had a really long ‘to look up’ list). I probably couldn’t have done the PhD at a university that is over 100 miles from where I live. So I couldn’t look up anything as I was writing today.
Also, I couldn’t listen to the music I wanted to listen to – I haven’t really bothered to update my mp3 collection on my computer now I can stream music (and I donated my cd collection to charity).
And I couldn’t access any social media. Well I could, just not have them all running as the backdrop to my life. I limited myself to five minutes every half hour as my writing break to check I hadn’t missed any catastrophic events or anything. Of course I hadn’t.
This made me think about the ever present connection that most of us have with the internet. It has become almost like the life force that sustains us. We are a bit list when it is taken away. But is there a freedom to be gained from not checking in to see what your mate’s dog had for breakfast, freeing us from the banality of other people’s daily existence, or is it in the everyday that most of us find our daily meaning? Answers on a postcard please (you know, like twitter for people with good handwriting).