Janey Godley | Janey_Godley
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The Power of the internet

Jul 18th 2010 at 4:38 PM

I send photo’s to mates, I look at other people’s lives on the web and I realised it’s been ages since I actually held a photo in my hand and stared at it. That’s the power of the internet!

Who knew when we were kids climbing trees and making cars out of old prams that one day we would all be sitting on buses, trains, at work, in bed and even in theatres looking at tiny hand held metal boxes and telling the world in 140 characters what we are thinking?

People like me who grew up in the late 60s and 70s spent our summers playing on the pavements, hiding in tree houses and could only dream of having something that would let us watch the Banana Splits on demand. We ran home from school desperate not to miss our favourite TV shows, and back in those days no one bothered to ask us each morning ‘What are you thinking?’

Now every kid worth its salt has a Facebook account. No one does anything without taking a host of inane photos and showing all their mates what they were doing last weekend. I am guilty of it too.
We needn’t imagine what Steve did when he met an angry bulldog, as we can all see it recorded on an IPhone and posted on YouTube.

Friends are everything on the internet, we gather them on Facebook, Twitter and that old woe begotten wayward pal My Space…remember My Space?

Everyone will either ‘Like’ or ‘Dislike’ your recent comment, that’s what friends do nowadays.

When I was a kid, friends came round to your house, shared their Toffo’s with you, sang along to Donny Osmond songs and decided which Bay City Roller they would snog first. You waited a full week for photos to be developed and then you would carry them to school to show your best pals and image of you, your mum and dad and big brothers and sister all lined up like a mismatched smiley group beside a tiny rounded caravan as the rain whipped your hair across your happy face.

No one could imagine that a photo could be sent to a whole host of people in a matter of seconds. That’s what the future gave us. But do we nurture those photos and experiences as much as we used to? I think we have become numb to the vast array of content on the web that we no longer nurture a photo of a baby; we no longer stare at an image and wonder what happened next? Or try to envision what the people in the picture were doing as the photo was taken...like we used to.

This all sounds like I am disillusioned with the internet but I am not at all, it’s awesome.

I love that there are so many people connecting across the world, I enjoy reading other people’s blogs and content.

I just feel that something is lost along the way; people don’t pull out a wallet to show a photograph (other than my husband who still carries a picture of Ashley at age 6 and age 20 side by side!) everyone has a slide show of photos on their phone (like me).

In many years to come, there wont be boxes of photos on top of wardrobes or in closets, they will all be stuck in someone’s hard drive or archived on various image hosting websites.

I don’t see photographs proudly hanging on walls anymore, constant images of smiling kids staring from flowery papered walls- that will soon be all gone.

Yet we do get to see more photographs through the web, we get to see a baby’s first steps and your kid’s graduation live as it happens, that’s all amazing stuff.

So, I am off to print off some photos and start putting them in boxes and the good news is, maybe in years to come someone will find them and wonder who they are!

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