Is the Internet a wonderful new information channel or a dangerous one?
December 21, 2006 5:38am CST
The internet is allowing all of us to get back in touch with our fellow humans, wherever they are in the World. It also allows us to access information that previously we would never have found. But does this wonderful information channel come at the expense of face to face contact and human interaction? One of the most important aspects of the internet is email. Unlike the telephone, for us oldies it is far less intrusive and can, as did the letters I wrote and received in my youth, keep us in touch with our friends and relations in an informal, relaxed way, which is the manner in which we meet our daily life 'fictive kin' -- our neighbours, workmates and acquaintances. It also can enable these contacts to be immediate (as in tribal life) which is very unlike the dutiful weekly letter home or to a relation in the past when whatever one's news might be, it was definitely old news by the time anyone received it - as is the holiday postcard today! With the internet you can contact your children whenever you wish and know that if/when they reply, they will be in the mood to do so and you will not interrupting their favourite DVD, dinner with friends or even making love. It is also a comforting life support system in that, courtesy of the credit card, my food suppliers will deliver everything you want. It is just the same only better because now you can buy books that way too!