The Internet. The Internet has proven a blessing in many ways, providing the means for acquiring information that simply were not available before, the possibilities of mass communication that have previously been non-existent and so on. However, with blessing has come much that is not – indeed, the curse of the Internet. The curse of the Internet is a many-headed beast, including the ease of access to pornography to all and sundry, cyber-bullying and the like, troll behaviour across the board, etc. The Internet of course is not alone in this seeming dichotomy of blessing and curse, for everything seems to have the ability to both bless and curse, so why should the Internet be any different – it all comes down to how we use it and how we prepare ourselves for what we will inevitably by bombarded with once we enter the World Wide Web. That both exist should not surprise.
In my younger days I seemed to be a far more sociable being – or perhaps more accurately, my sociability and friendship was closer in real terms than it is now. I used to spend quality time with people, whether that was in one-on-one encounters, or as part of a meaningful group of friends interacting with one another during a social outing, while enjoying a meal together, or in one of a myriad of ways. Today things are far different and the Internet may well have been the means for accomplishing this rather less than brilliant array of social norms. It has not been the only catalyst for a changed socio-environment, but it has perhaps been the most aggressive counter to what were the social norms of my younger days.
Friendship had been one of the most important aspects on my life and something I both guarded and cultivated with great jealousy. As I look back on those days I now ask myself ‘what happened?’ Now the people I once counted dear and who’s friendship I cherished are no longer to be seen in my life to the same extent as they once were. Sure, people move on and circumstances change, so you expect some to no longer be there – but you would expect them to be replaced by others, at least that was how life used to be. Not anymore. They have gone and there have been none to replace them in the same way – now I have far removed friendships, friendships with people I have never physically met via the World Wide Web. These are not the same. Sure, they can be regarded as important and greatly valued, but they are not the same and the previous form of friendships that I valued so greatly are missed and mourned as the great loss that they are, especially with people who have been and continue to be, people of importance to me, though there is now little or no contact with them – certainly not in the same quality or even quantity as before.
Today is the day of far removed friendships and I am lesser for them.