Sunday, October 20, 2013

The Internet

I still remember the days when meetings with friends were arranged over a series of telephone calls; all of which happened in the space of minutes and lasted for as long as you could clutch to the plastic apparatus without being disturbed by my older brother (waiting for the call of his latest female conquest) my prudent father (claiming that the bills will ruin this family!). Time and place was decided and then it was left up to each one of us to be there on time or else miss whatever we were up to. There were no mobile phones to alert of unexpected delays in the public transport or other unforeseen events. The city was filled with lost souls looking for the place they were supposed to be at; asking others where this or that street was. There was no GPS, no Google Maps to consult, no Whatsapps, SMS...

The times when people actually talked to each other... I felt as if I knew everything about my friends after long conversations shortened only by the strict curfew I had to adhere to. Then the internet happened (yes youngsters, believe it or not, there was a world before the internet!); and with it, the new ability of knowing everything about everyone without the need of any social interaction. We became victims of the over-sharing epidemic.
“Whatever we possess becomes of double value when we have the opportunity of sharing it with others.”
Don't get me wrong, I absolutely love the web. I'm an auto-declared geek (my Mam's still amazed of what I have become interested in). Every part of my life is technologically fueled. I can't go offline for a day without getting stressed and suffering withdrawal symptoms. I plead guilty of visiting social network sites (why do we insist in calling it "social network sites" when we all know which site we are referring to?) with the sole and only purpose of spending a few minutes (ahem) peeking into the lives of others. Just before writing this, I confess to have easily spent a whole hour procrastinating in front of my laptop doing nothing but changing from one insignificant tab to another. Just like that: tab, tab, tab.

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