I’ve been online over 20 years (not constantly! there was a lunch break or two) and I don’t want to go back to the “good olde days”.
What’s not to love about being online, chatting and sharing and keeping in the loop. We like finding out answers to niggling questions instantly and with seemingly little effort. We enjoy playing games, downloading music, streaming a film. It’s never been easier to not miss out.
Now I’m going to spoil that mild reverie with a timely reminder that the cybersphere isn’t all unicorns and rainbows. Like all good things there’s another side and I’m opening that can of worms for just a moment.
To list a few there is:
– the debate about the Internet’s overall effect on learning and understanding – see Nicholas Carr – “Is Google Making Us Stupid?”
– the growing phenomena of “moral disengagement” – people becoming online bullies as they feel safe hiding behind a computer screen (anonymity) – the more distance someone has from the consequences of their actions the easier it is for them not to care
– governments shutting down libraries across the world because everyone can get what they need online – Really!!?
– Wikileaks – who has the right to know what, how much, when….
– Google’s massive Library digitisation project – who should store all this information, who has access, what are the restrictions?
– Copyright issues
Privacy issues – is our concept of privacy changing and does it make a difference? Mark Zuckerberg CEO of Facebook doesn’t think privacy matters anymore. Again – Really!!?
A few points to ponder on.
Not that I’m going to delete my online existence and go off-grid. But if you’re serious you could permanently delete your account on a number of popular websites. A tad extreme but always an option.