As usage of the internet grows it has of course totally changed the way people interact. It seems as if I sometimes don’t see my seventeen year old, Tom for days on end but it doesn’t stop me communication with him. We just chat on Facebook.
The image this portrays is of online addicts (of which I confess I am one) buried in their PCs for hours on end ignoring everyone else in the house.
This might well be an unfortunate by product of the internet age. I do however think that this is a phase we are just going through. As technology improves it will give us more control over our lives and allow us to start living again.
This is very much likely to be the case in what might today be called a dormitory village. Most people in these places commute long distances, buy their groceries from superstores on their way home (or online) and village life becomes an impoverished cousin of its glorious social past.
In the future the internet will take away the need for these people to commute, for at least some of the time. The efficiencies that will come will give people time to physically reconnect with others in their local environment and village life will come again. Maybe the village shop and Post Office will reopen!?
In the meantime I have to clean my rose tinted spectacles, get back to my 16 hour day and someone somewhere needs to get around to putting fibre into that village.
PS Tom does occasionally update his photo on Facebook so I do keep up with what he looks like as well. Kids change so quickly don’t they? 🙂
One reply on “Village shop to reopen – read all about it!”
When I was researching the book about the community network in Wennington (shameless plug – http://www.lulu.com/lannison) I discovered something really interesting about what the internet connectivity did for that community.
Whereas previously the connection had been so appalling or non-existent that people had been spending hours either trying to do something online or driving to find a better connection, post a CD with the file on, attending far distant meetings etc, what the improved connection over Wennet did was give them MORE time to get involved in their community. And interestingly, more money to spend within their communities – the fabled Blue Pound.
Several people mentioned having more time to get involved in school activities, community fetes, fundraising events and so on. These were all things they had wanted to do previously, but had been unable to because of a lack of time.
Even more so, the fact that they were on a community network and had got to know their neighbours a bit better, now they were all keeping each other in touch about community goings on and helping out at and attending events together. Purely because they were all better connected – not just over the IP network, but as neighbours and members of their community eg as people.
I can’t see our shop re-opening in a hurry though, because there is still one vital factor missing. And that is the understanding in the people who currently make up our society just how important the community is. Many people have never experienced true community life, and don’t understand how it functions.
They just don’t get that if they shop in the supermarkets in the nearby town, they will put the shop out of business. And then they moan it has gone, but little adjustment is made by the average person to support that community asset, because we have become desperately selfish and me-focused.
There has to be a lot of giving to make a community work, but when you contribute, a) it feels good and b) you get it all back in spades, often from the most unexpected sources.