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Thread: General > Talk > We don’t talk anymore.. How much internet is to much?

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Thread: #7723
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Posted: 24 Nov 2014
We don’t talk anymore.. How much internet is to much?
Here’s a post on the Internet about the Internet. Wherever you are reading this I want to ask you this question, how has the internet impacted on your life?

Now, we all know the Internet can be used as a great tool or it can be used against people. Sure we hear good and bad things about the net everyday, some things will worry you, sometimes we loose our trust but it will never stop us from logging on.

But this isn’t about such issues. Forget hackers or isolated old people looking at family photo’s on flicker. Forget work and paying bills. For now I want to look at how the internet has effected our past time, how much we use it, how we interact with each other and then consider if this technical revolution has enhanced our lives or taken something away. As the question has now been asked you can start commenting or simply drift away, for those who are interested I am now going to take you through a brief history of my relationship with the World Wide Web helping to demonstrate how in just nine years it has changed the way l live.

I am just about old enough to remember a time when we had no real need for the Internet, sure since 1993 the Internet has been available, but for many the need to interact with it has only really come about in the past ten years.

For me my first interaction occurred in 1998, I was a seventeen year old college student when the IT department at our college informed us that all students were entitled to book one hours worth of internet time per day. Nor my friends or I had ever used the Internet so this seemed like a jolly fun lunchtime outing.

When I first sat down in front of the computer and the Yahoo search box appeared in front of me I really had no idea what I was going to look for. At the time I was a fan of 3rd Rock from the Sun. I know there was a new season out in the states so 3rd Rock was my first ever search.

Very quickly I arrived at the NBC website, a site obviously designed for a US audience, this seemed all to existing from my college IT Suite in little England. After spending about 30 minuets reading a review I was just about done. I couldn’t see any further purpose for the net.

I went home that day and told m brother Phil that I had discovered the Internet, He told me to set up and email account and email him. He gave me his address, sure, my next trip to the Internet was to set up an email account. I emailed him ‘This is my Address’ then went back to living my life.

It was about three months later that I returned to the net to do a little research into a forthcoming trip to the US. I checked my email to find about three emails from my brother; he said something along the lines of ‘Are you ever going to reply to your emails?’ I decided at that moment not to. Later that night I told him that I had received his emails, he asked me why I had not replied, I said ‘why email you when I can just have a face to face conversation.’ In my mind the internet was a place for nerds who wanted to share information without actually having to talk to each other.

So time moves on, in 1999 I got my first computer but no it didn’t have a modem, to think they were building computers with no intention of going online. It was my base for music, video games, TV (yes it had TV) DVD’s and the odd bit of study but no Internet. In the year 2000 this computer followed me to Uni, no Internet connection in our rooms, and now the proud owner of a Nokia phone there was no Internet on my phone. I still had little to do with the Web aside from the odd bit of research, emails and a few gigs tickets the Internet was still somewhere I only visited if I had to.

2004 I left the student life and heading of on my travels, well New Zealand, to spend a full year of my life and still no personal internet connection of any sort, the term social media had still not crossed my path and at that point in my life I still didn’t consider the internet to be a worth my while.

Things would change at the end of 2005. Now 24 I arrived home from travelling, but it wasn’t just home, for the first time in over five years I was living back at home with my parents and brothers. My friends were scattered across the country and I had no job but plenty of debt. I felt truly sorry for myself and was desperately looking for an escape. And it came, Wi-Fi, and as luck would have it for me my brother Ian had brought me a little present, He put an AirPort in my computer so I could be connected. Suddenly my world would change, although at the time I was somewhat naive regarding viruses and keeping my computer protected I just jumped feet first into the net. Suddenly I had MSN and I was collecting contacts fast, YouTube became and addiction, I found gay dating sites and kept building profiles. Alone in my room I was building a virtual life for myself to escape the non life I had come home to. I’d get excited about getting online, even looking back it all seems so sad!

But then, after about four months something happened, my computer started malfunctioning, shutting itself down, the DVD drive stopped working.. My computer had caught a cold, worse then that, I had broken it. I suddenly took a long hard look at what I was doing, what had happened to me. I suddenly felt empty, ashamed that in four months I’d glued myself to this computer but in reality I had nothing to show for it. No life, still living a home, no friends away from work. I was living to be logged on. For someone like me who suffers with anxiety it is never good to over think, and that’s what happened causing anxiety. I was so annoyed with myself, I ripped out the little aerial on the AirPort and chucked it in the bin. Then I made a packed with myself, to cut out the two things that were making me unhealthy, Alcohol and the Internet.

In the year 2006 it wasn’t hard to ditch the net, I suddenly I didn’t have access anymore without my computer, it wasn’t on my phone and at the time I worked Front of House at a Theatre so I had no connection there.

Very quickly I took up new hobbies, joined my local theatre group, joined the gym and started gliding lessons. The way I sore it was that I’m alive and I wasn’t going to live my life through a 16ich monitor. I started going clubbing again, in 2006 indie rock clubs were still popular so it wasn’t hard to find four weekly nights out, as I was off the alcohol I wasn’t spending much money or getting drunk thus all I had to contend with was tiredness.

This lasted for about 15 months a guess. And what a gloriole 15 months it was. But just because I wasn’t online didn’t mean the world wasn’t, the more it got tangled up in this digital spiders web the more people were required to interact with it.

July 2007, now 26, I got myself my first office job. Facing me for the first time in over a year was the Internet. At first this wasn’t much of an issue, it’s a useful past time at work and with such a great connection gig tickets were easy to purchase. But something ells had happened to the world, Facebook! It seemed that everyone in the office was addicted to Facebook. Everyone had Facebook and colleagues thought it strange that I would continually shun it. I didn’t want anything of it, why did I need to be able to see my colleagues lives? I just didn’t get it. However only a few months later I was at a party where the subject of Facebook came up, back then it was still a cool place and not somewhere where your mum would comment on your statues updates. Suddenly I was inspired, a short session in front of a computer where I got to see friends vanity shots and holiday photo’s I suddenly thought to myself this is a great way to show off all the great things I’ve been up to.

That next Monday morning at work I did it, I set up Facebook. Suddenly I was receiving friends requests, I was tagged in photos from Uni, from the party I’d just been to and past travels. I loved it, but for me it was nothing to do with my friends it was all about me, my new personal PR campaign. It was all about being funny, what photo’s to upload. Uploading photos became a problem at work so just after a New Years Skiing trip that I just wanted to tell the world about I went out and purchased a laptop.

I was back, back online. But this time the balance was right, I had my life away from the computer. When I was out and about I still had no connectivity so actually this new purchase had very little impact on my life. I still refused to join gay dating sites again, my feeling was that I would wait for the Universes master plan to guide me to romance, after more then three years I decided the Universe hadn’t got a master plan for me so shortly after my 30th Birthday I attempted the gay dating thing again, that’s when I found Altvibe, but alas, three dating websites and one mobile app and single life still seems to be the way… not even a date thus far.

So here we are its the year 2014 and I have gotten thinking about the web again. I recently attended a reunion in Derbyshire, on arrival to this beautiful cottage it became apparent that there was no mobile reception, not only that but no Wi-fi. We were all a little disappointed because we could not connect with our online lives, our little internet bubble now supported by our mobiles.

As the evening went on it was also apparent that although many of us had not seen or spoken to each other in years we were all very clued up bout each others lives, what we were up to etc. This got me thinking, when I was at Uni and travelling I used to phone friends regularly and they used to phone me. Now I never do this, I very rarely receive a telephone call. All we do is Like, Comment and Share. Conversations seem to be reserved to when we are all together.

If today I wanted to turn my back on the net it would be so hard, I just don’t think I could do it, this digital highway flows through me, its everywhere I go, every waking minuet I can log on. I still often catch myself saying, ‘I’m glad I didn’t have the net when I was younger’ I think personally we have to much connectivity, that actually if it was naturally limited like it was for me at Uni we would take it or leave it, use it only if we need to. But its there always, when waiting for a bus, applying for a job or looking for music, the web is now fundamental to the world.

So, as I said at the beginning, how has this impacted on our lives. Where would your life be today, right now if you didn't have the internet at home or on your phone?


Posted: 25 Nov 2014
Re: We don’t talk anymore.. How much internet is to much?
It's a big question… A few thoughts I may add to later…

I’ve always liked internet forums- you get some interesting discussions and you can post when and if you like and there’s no expectation. It’s nice.

As for Facebook…so much for using the internet to keep in touch with people…All of my friends live in a different city so my Facebook news feed just reads like a trash magazine these days- gossip, opinions and a few problem pages from a world I feel very disconnected from. This has developed into a Facebook aversion. Then people have come to think I don’t want to know. It’s essentially resulted in total isolation.

The big positive of the internet for me is learning Japanese. It just wouldn’t have happened without the internet- access to Japanese music, videos, news, blogs and of course people. I’ve recently started actually applying for jobs/exchanges in Japan. When I was a teenager this just wouldn’t have been possible.

I don't like the idea of being connected 24/7. I actually switch my phone off when I'm at home which seems a bit silly when I then switch on my laptop. Saying that I've had a mild phobia of phones since before the internet

Posted: 30 Nov 2014
Re: We don’t talk anymore.. How much internet is to much?
from the work perspective, I couldn't do my job without the internet (I'm a journalist) but outside of that, I use facebook and keep in touch with people who live all overe the place so its got its uses. I don't spend much time on the nety however, probably around two to three hours max a day.

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