Not Moving Yet.

Posted by Viktoria Michaelis on February 25, 2012 in News & Opinion |

I mentioned it a few days ago, this weblog is going to be moving. It should have already happened, but it hasn’t yet.

Not that there is a problem, or that the move hasn’t worked or anything like that. It’s just that the new server, I am told, isn’t ready yet and so the move can’t take place.

There was the hope that it would be available, this new server, in time for the weekend, in time for that space in a busy schedule when someone can sit down and concentrate on doing everything right without any due pressure. The old contract, you see, expires on February 28, and then the old server will disappear from the virtual world we have come to love and, to a certain extent, need in our daily lives.

I read, on G+, a few days ago how someone wondered whether they could live without their cell phone; whether people would be able to live and enjoy their leisure without many of the technological innovations, the gadgets which we take for granted today. The thought was further enhanced by a question of whether the Internet had made us more sociable or less which, as I am sure anyone who spends any time surfing the Internet will already know, is a widely discussed theme.

As far as the cell is concerned, no, no problem. I don’t have one – well, it would be pointless really, wouldn’t it – and see no need to get hold of one. I could spend all my time sending text messages back and forth by way of conversation with people, but I don’t. And I don’t want to.

Could I live without my Internet access?

Well, obviously I could, people have managed it for generations and there is no reason to suppose that I, or anyone else who doesn’t rely on the Internet for their daily bread, should break this trend. But has the Internet made me, and others, more or less sociable? Do we interact with other people more or less as a result of modern technology?

The answer, for me, is that we are more sociable, just in a different manner to what we termed sociable in earlier years, or what our forefathers considered being sociable. Society has changed in remarkable ways, and one of these ways is the bringing of new people into our social circles who, whether through distance, ability, social standing or whatever, might never have been considered, or available, to us before. Less than one hundred years ago being sociable was still very much a class thing: one visited friends and acquaintances within a specific social circle. The working classes, those who believed they could afford it, had their own form of social behavior, often revolving around the public house and bar scenes, around taverns.

Society, one hundred years ago, was very limited. There was a restriction on travel – something which has changed to a certain extent today but is still a hindrance for many – as much as a limit on levels of education. People had their own station in life and were expected to remain within their own social spheres. Social interaction between differing classes was very limited indeed and, for many, frowned upon as being unseemly.

Today, through the Internet as much as anything else, we have a far greater breadth of possibilities. We can literally contact anyone – with Internet available to them – in any part of the world regardless of their standing, their work, their personal station. We can discuss, correspond, watch, experience as never before.

As I say, though, the type of sociability has changed. Perhaps there is less meeting and greeting, less face to face interaction or, perhaps, it has merely been relegated to a lesser position in people’s minds. The personal aspect is still very much there, we do still meet up, we do still talk. It has been expanded considerably, though, so that, rather than just sitting at home at a loose end or wandering through the local taverns, we can meet up with and experience many more people through web cams, chat, social media and so on. We can talk to more people than ever before, even all at the same time, and no one really minds those sitting on the sidelines just listening in. We share our lives and loves more – for good and bad, depending on what is shared and who makes use of it – and experience the lives and loves of others.

One hundred years ago, perhaps even thirty years ago, this would not have been possible.

The social world has changed, and we are changing with it. I couldn’t do without the social interaction the Internet has brought me, but I could probably survive without the Internet, strange as that may seem. The social interaction, the experiences I and others have gained, would still be there if the Internet vanished tomorrow, and probably many of the friendships too even if, without the immediate, we had to revert to other means of contact.

Love & Kisses, Viki.

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