SARAH VINE: I'm hooked on the web... but how I mourn a simpler age when our life experiences were much richer
I’m no Luddite. I appreciate all the advantages that the internet has brought us.
And while I recognise it has downsides, too — data breaches, fake news, online pornography, bullying and so on — I still think that, on balance, I would rather have it than not.
I’d go so far as to say that it was absolutely fine. Quite nice, actually. Full of simple pleasures, such as getting lost and ending up somewhere unexpected, or reading an actual book instead of just Googling the plot.
Or interacting with people face-to-face, as opposed to via a keyboard, or rushing home to watch your favourite TV show instead of just getting it on iPlayer.
I miss that world, that analogue existence, where ideas and opinions had nuance and context, instead of being plucked from the web and flung around like grenades. I miss the fact that you could stop the world at your front door, leave behind the bullies and the deadlines — and just be.
That world is lost. Not only to those like me, who can remember it and miss it. But also to the next generation, who will never know what it feels like to enjoy a piece of avocado on toast without posting a picture online, or sit on a beach without taking a selfie — or just to experience life without the whole of the world passing judgment.
A balanced piece but Vine might be pleasantly surprised to find there are more people than ever enjoying the gentler analogue world. Its never been easier to meet others with similar interests or find places on your doorstep to get away from it all. Parks, NT properties, rambling footpaths, woodlands, beeches are as popular as ever.