DO YOU USE SOCIAL NETWORKS FOR MORE THAN HALF THE DAY?
DO YOU DO YOUR BANKING ONLINE?
DO YOU ORDER YOUR SHOPPING TO YOUR DOOR?
DO YOU WATCH TV ON YOUR LAPTOP/COMPUTER?
DO YOU USE SKYPE OR OTHER CHAT FACILITIES?
If you answered YES to three or more questions, you may be an addict
I am addicted to the use of the internet. I know I am. I am hugely guilty of being a ‘Faddict’ (Facebook addict). I bank online regularly, I check emails on my phone, I blog (duh) and I order the occasional pizza. None of these things require physical interaction except when considering deliveries. I don’t speak to anyone, I don’t use my voice, I don’t even pack my own shopping half the time. I use the magic of the internet. Why not? Everything in life is done immediately from the laptop or my iPhone. Why walk all the way to the shops when you can do it in your pants from the comfort of your sofa? It is very possible to spend significant time not physically speaking to another human being and doing everything virtually. This topic is a scary one really. The number of people who rely on social activities on the internet on a daily basis is staggering. Could you live without the internet? I know I could – because when I was growing up it just wasn’t common – but now I don’t think I would want to. I am a social animal – I use the internet for everything.
In the 90s, people used to have a PC, a house phone, a walk man, a radio and pen and paper to write with. Yes I know, we still have all those things, but the majority of people now have all that in one! An iPhone can call, play music, surf the net, play games and has a notepad section. When I was in secondary school I remember that ringing my friends required permission from my parents and standing in the kitchen twirling the phone cord. Now I can use Facebook which is free. Sure, I still call people, but the majority of the time, I use Facebook to speak to people.
One question most people just don’t ask themselves, is about the ethical impact of social activity online now. Self service tills in place of human beings mean the rate of unemployment in retail environments soar. The impact of the new online shopping craze on the high street is also huge with shops closing down and redundancies being made. Why would we need to GO to the shops when we can order online? We are selfish creatures, humans, we want things NOW and we don’t understand the idea of having to wait for anything. We are used to a world of ‘instants’ and without those, we get angry and annoyed. Banking, shopping, buying tickets, buying a holiday, communicating…it can all be done at the press of a button. There will come a time where children won’t know what the little phone symbol on an iPhone will mean, because texting will take over talking.
In hospitals, iPads and tablets are used in place of patient charts. In schools, blackboards and chalk were replaced with whiteboards and markers. Now we have overhead projectors and smart boards. My mum goes mad on this but handwriting is getting worse as the generations go on because we type everything now and use spell check. Our hands use muscle memory when it comes to writing. Try it for yourself – grab a pen and try and write a paragraph. If your hand starts to ache pretty quickly it’s a good sign that your hand is losing it’s muscle memory for writing.
Ticket officers in train stations are being replaced by smart touch machines. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t hate technology altogether and I do rely on it heavily. But what would we do if the National Grid crashes this winter like predicted and the internet didn’t work because of the lack of electricity? Big companies have disaster contingencies but in the age we are in now, a lack of electricity and internet is more than a disaster. We rely so heavily on it, that there would be rioting (no CCTV working) and panic. Sounds silly, but it’s true. Supermarkets wouldn’t function, ATM’s wouldn’t work, emails and phone networks could go down without the pylons/masts working to support the signals.
I’m not saying we should start breaking out the candles and stocking up on bottled water (go for it if you want!) I’m just saying what if. What if the internet got shut off? Could you cope?
What is YOUR contingency plan?