Over on BBC6 music today they have turned the clock back to 1994 as part of their My Generation season. You can have a look at the playlist here.
There have been a few tweets over in Twitter World of people reminiscing their teenage years. I was a teenager back then so I have my own memories of that time.
As part of the articles that the beeb have put up on their website it explains that this was the year that the world wide web started to take off. This got me chatting to my colleagues about how we now take this world as the norm and that children today have grown up in this world of computers, smartphones and tablets.
September 1994 saw me going to University. Computers were strange things. Sure I used a word processor for my assignments but all you did on them was type and if you were lucky a game of snake. Journeying into the Internet was a strange world. As my time progressed at university I met people who were really into the Internet especially socialising on it. I remember this one girl called Kat who was heavily into this and saying she saw so and so….she hadn’t actually physically seen them but virtually seen them. Back then this was not the norm and was seen as really odd. Now however it’s a different story.
I wasn’t really friends with Kat so we never kept in touch. So why has she now crossed my mind? Well she would be the same age as me now. A few of my friends of my age are starting to shun the virtual world in favour of the real world. Some of them don’t get it and see no point in wasting time with it. Those who have children are worried about how much time their children spend using computers being in the virtual world vs spending time in the real world. They have concerns of their children having too many virtual friends and not enough pinch punch real friends who they can go out with. There is a question of what is seen as proper fun. There is the fear that they are not going to experience childhood the way they did. So they have to decided to lead by example by reducing the time that they spend on social media and the Internet.
I wonder if Kat feels the same? Or is she some high flyer over in the USA working for some big Internet firm? Or has she dropped out of the world living simply somewhere in the middle of nowhere? I know I will never know but can hope whatever she is doing she is happy.
The negative side of this virtual world is the stories that you hear of young people feeling inadequate and this leads to depression and anxiety. Plus there is the online bullying and trolling that happens.
I wasn’t planning on reducing the time I spend in the virtual world over Lent but I’m starting to think that to aid with my healing process I need to consider the time I spend, what I post and who I follow. There’s no total escaping from it as part of my work is media based however I can control my own time. It’s best to spend as much of that in the real world with real people.