Where are you reading this blog? On the train, on the bus, whilst you're waiting for the kettle to boil?
If you are on the train, look around you. How many people are looking out of the window? 1, maybe 2?
And why are they looking out of the window?
Because of the view? To get some head space from the day? Because actually there is something really relaxing about watching rain hit a window?
I'll bet you a fiver now that it's because their phone died before they boarded the train.
If you took the time to look up now you would be surrounded by people, hinge in neck, staring down at a white illuminated screen, scrolling away with their thumbs.
We live in an age where nobody is never more than 5cms away from a device that will provide them with instant access to a world of information. We sit in front of them all day at work, they are in our hands the minute we leave the office and we sleep with them right near our heads. I am convinced, that without some enforced self control, the internet is going to kill our brains a little bit and in ten year's time the world is gonna be a real different place. Want to hear my predictions? Of course you bloody do...
Here they come....
We will work 7 day weeks. No job will be 9-5, Monday-Friday. It's already going that way, but as a standard, you will be provided with a work phone that means you can check in at all times and by 2025 I can see us dialing into conference calls whilst having a poo. Holidays will no longer be a proper break and our sleep patterns will be interrupted by late night emails about those things that really aren't important.
It in turn will affect our relationships, because we will become practically married to our jobs and our wives and husbands will hate us. However, it won't be so bad if our love stories end because in about 25 seconds we will download one of 750 apps at our disposal to provide us with access to the nearest single person in our area, or in our block of flats, or in our office. In fact, one will be installed as a default to every iPhone. Like the AppleWatch app...AppleOfMyEye perhaps?
With little to no effort, we will organise dates with people we have no life like chemistry with and hope for the best. And if it doesn't go well, who cares, because when they go to the loo we will just logon and find a new one. We will become even more brutal than we are already and it will be common practise to know the name, age and occupation of everyone on our daily commute, not because we speak to them, but because our location based app tells us. Or because we've already chatted to them online. Mystery will go. As will the art of conversation.
Brave one liners and pick up lines will become even more a thing of the past and when we make our speeches at our weddings they will start with 'well he sent me a love heart eyed emoji, and the rest is history'.
Not that we will probably bother with the speeches, we will just send them out via email the day before because everyone will be in a 2025 rush and will have four weddings to go to that day because social media has meant they've 'kept in touch' with a hundred more people than they would have done 20 years ago, therefore having more invites than you can shake a stick at and also making it difficult to decline one invite and accept another in case you get 'tagged' and caught out.
Our grandkids will be told that Nanny and Pops fell in love at first swipe and that will be the end of what we all hoped would be the greatest love story on earth. There will be no chase, no months of dating & chivalry. No butterflies. Just pictures on screens, and speedy dates in bars before you rush off to the next one. It will become common practice to date two people, in the same evening, in the same bar.
Stalking will become a nationwide epidemic and people will become scared to check a Whats'app or logon to their Facebook incase the girl or guy their avoiding can instantly find out where they are, come round, and hide in their bloody bin. This a genuine, irratic, concern of mine.
Our enjoyment of things will begin to dwindle, because rather than looking & enjoying what's around us, we will be emailing work, or checking Tinder or uploading an image of the thing we are looking at to social media (just to prove to everyone that we went to secondary school with, that we are having a nice time). Our eyes will only grow accustomed to see historical landmarks through the screen on a phone.
Then, rather than sitting back and enjoying the view, we will continually check how many people 'liked' what we were doing, and our choice of filter.
This is already happening. We went to the pub after work on Friday and out of a table of six, four people were on their phone at the same time. Nobody was talking, everyone was just looking down. Depressing. PUT IT IN YOUR POCKET.
Conversations with old friends will start with 'So.....I read your timeline before you got here so I'm all caught up'. You'll then just probably sit in silence whilst you both look at your phones some more before digitially turning on your heating indoors so it's warm enough for when you get dropped off by your digitally ordered cab.
Shopping will stop and we will do everything from our sofa or from the train. Even interaction with a shopkeeper will be a thing of the past. They'll all shut because rather than running out of milk, Asda will have automatically taped into our fridge and replenish what we need before we have a chance to forget. Everything will be delivered by android so we won't even get to talk to the postman anymore and we'll become some impatient with life in general because same day delivery will become normality.
Ok, ok, I'm ranting now but you get where I'm coming from?
However...if we're not careful, can you imagine what our kids lives will be like...
We will have to teach them about books and what we used them for and that there were these amazing places called libraries back in the day but now they are just flats because Kindle put them all out of business.
They will look at us blankly when we tell them that there are other ways to find out historical facts without typing in a long white box. We'll have to teach them how to write, not just touch a screen to draft a letter. They will never know the amazing thing that is bubble writing....they'll just choose a fancy font.
They will never experience the joy of sending or receiving a postcard. They will Google how to build a den. GOD! Them accessing porn at the age of 8 will be an actual concern of ours. They will have to get their eyes checked more often because small humans weren't made to stare at white light, they were made to play in mud, and play pretend and BE OUTSIDE!
Ok. This rant is making me tired but it's scary.
We need to really watch it, before we become a nation of cotton wool headed knobs who can't function without 4G.
As such, for the next week, I am going as internet free as humanly possible in this day and age. From the minute this blog posts, I am not going to buy anything online, I'm going to buy newspapers, I will not spend all of my lunch hour on BuzzFeed and I will not check social media. I will still be online at work sadly, because as much as I love this blog, it don't pay the bills.
I will try my up most to only old school text or call. No What'sApp or FB messenger for a week.
Watch. This. Space.
In a week's time I will reappear with my findings. And if by some miracle, I haven't self combusted or jumped off of Waterloo Bridge, I am going to ask you all to join me in having an 'Internet Free Day' and spending some time looking out of the bloody window.
Wish me luck!
See you in a week .