Category Archives: culture

Broadband for Everyone

A more personal note today: Living in a major city, I never question the availability of technology and, crucially, the connectivity of my devices to the internet. Having instant connection is so vital for my daily life, as for most of yours I guess. I am not only thinking about communicating with family and friends and being able to do work-related tasks on the go. But, of course, it is also hugely important for participating in the cultural life — just think about easy access to music and creative text or instant access to information about everything that is going on wherever you are.

Last week, however, I found myself in a rural area in Scotland and, for the first time in years, found myself without any connection. No refreshing or reconfiguration helped, nor any attempts as waving my phone high up in the air. And I must admit, I felt a bit lost.

Mobile connection UK

Where would I get information from about the area I was in? I am trying to make a point of going to cultural events wherever I go, both to broaden my horizon and to support the local cultural life. No access to the internet meant I couldn’t do that. I know that the Scottish government has a grand-scheme plan to get all of Scotland on to broadband but 2020 is still quite a long way away.

This made me wonder once again how strongly intertwined our lives are with technology and failure of the latter really stuffs us up. Even though I lived in times when the internet was not around at all, by now even I am lost without it.

Revolution comes quick

I went out to the dinner with some friends the other night who are both academics, and they started reminiscing about how they use to spend hours on IRC chat rooms, back then a revolutionary way to communicate. Soon after that they were shown this new thing called the world wide web – although they could only talk to CERN and one American university. This was the early 90’s, and I’ve once again thought about how quick we’ve progressed since then and where we might go.

These days most generations are surrounded by the internet, it plays a huge role in how we communicate, how we see the world and how the world sees us. But for most adults it is something they chose to start interacting with at a reasonably educated age, not so younger generations  There is growing debate over the internet legacy children unwittingly create that will stay with them through their lives, it’s not so easy to just grow up and move on anymore, so I believe we need to either change the way we access technolgy, or we change the way we perceive people.

creating online identity starts early

Just think as a parent, the internet legacy you create for your child now, from the very first ultra sound online profiles are being created for good without the permission of the person. Will we get to the point in the future where children grow up and start suing there parents for copyrught infringement. As a society we need to start thinking about this. I for one will consider carefully from now on including anyone else in my online life.