In this day and age, the world is more connected than it has ever been. Whereas a message to the other side of the world would a century ago at least take a couple of weeks, probably even months to arrive, nowadays that message will have travelled around the world faster than any human has ever done.
It is these fast connections which offer us new opportunities but also new challenges. Of course, we can connect faster and easier with each other than ever before, however, we are also being lead into a path that lets our increasingly individualistic society grow even more anti-communitarian.
To start with a very positive side of the internet: borders start to fall. Young people are almost all on the internet, they watch celebrities, make friends and explore the world from behind their computers. Celebrities from all around the world, from the US to Russia, if it’s connected it’s reachable. But also, they make friends abroad. For myself, for example, I know dozens of people abroad, all across Europe, America and even Asia, some of which I would very much so consider friends. This way, the youth everywhere starts to become one more and more, all equipped with a mindset to look over borders, to fly over them even using the internet. It is this cultural exchange, that goes through content creation and communicating with friends that could lead us to a world that is more peaceful and kind.
There is also a flip side to this story however. Because not only does the internet offer us with many abilities to connect more with other people, it also gives us options to connect less. Take websites such as Amazon: where you would first have had to go to a shop, talk to a shopkeeper and run into an old friend on the street, now you can just push a few buttons and in a day or less someone will come bring it to your doorstep. Things like these make us more isolated from the world around us, causing us to have less interactions with the people close to us.
Another problem that arises with this is that those who lack the skills to operate computers tend to fall behind. Most elderly come to mind immediately of course, but also those who have disabilities causing them to be unable to use computers.
But perhaps, also less
But perhaps it also decreases the loneliness of some of these groups. For example through websites specifically created for these groups, such as over 60s dating site uk.60dating.com, or a website specifically designed for those with a low IQ, these things can also give them more connection to their surroundings. Here I think of a digital platform like my great-aunt who is a mentally challenged person like this uses to stay in touch with family. A simple site, designed for her to be able to easily exchange pictures and messages and even play some games.