Amanda Jones, Student at the University of Strathclyde & Intern at Family.
Okay, perhaps that is overdramatic – as far as I’m aware there is not an army of impersonating computers on the loose though I can’t help but wonder whether the world could cope without the Internet.
I love the Internet, I really do. To set the scene, on a particularly lazy night it would not be unheard of for me to check my bank balance online (sob), check what’s on the TV online (why don’t I just check the TV guide?!), order a pizza online, and then sate my appetite for clothing by buying things, you guessed it, ONLINE! When I get lost (sadly a situation I find myself in far too often) I don’t pull out a map, I turn to my dear friend Google. I could not live my life without this invention and I am not in a minority.
A result of the Internet is that the world has now become a global community, which is great for staying in contact with friends abroad. It is genuinely easier for me to message my friend in South Africa than getting hold of my socialite Nonna who lives 10 minutes away. She is constantly talking to her friends but, unbelievably, not through tweets or Facebook messages: she actually meets her friends… in person… to talk to them. Even more amazing, when they are playing cards there are no interruptions with phone calls, WhatsApp’s or, worst of all, high importance emails. It genuinely perplexes me that with people’s schedules becoming increasingly hectic it is near impossible to organise a non-work meeting, but when the girls eventually do catch up there is more “I’d better answer this/reply to this” than actual face-to-face interaction.
We are constantly speaking but never actually talking. Our society has never been more connected but, at the same time, people have never been more isolated. It is possible to live your life without ever stepping out of the house. Watching a new movie used to involve meeting friends, getting popcorn, buying a ticket and so much excitement. Now in reality I find myself not being able to wait for a film to be released in the UK – watching it online, by myself. Admittedly, I still enjoy the film, though I do wonder if great directors such as Tarantino expected their masterpiece to be viewed, these days most likely, in a dark bedroom, on a laptop where the sound doesn’t work properly because you spilt a gin and tonic on it last week.
Maybe it’s just me but I do wonder if what was once a life enriching technology has become a shackle that weighs society down. We spend on average 3.6 hours a day using social media. There are even detox programmes available to escape from technology. Whilst I don’t suggest this, I can say going for a walk or turning your phone off for an hour is liberating. The Internet has become an essential facet of our daily life, I just hope that social media does not actually replace our social life. Perhaps I am 20 going on 70 but it is worth remembering that receiving a hug from an old friend feels ten times better than a retweet.