The Power of the Net


Internet rehab is no joke. It’s been twelve days, six hours and ooh, say around, 50 minutes since my flatmate Ross announced our Internet wasn’t working, and wouldn’t be working until next Monday. Until then I must cope with being tossed into what my mother has so often threatened me with, Internet Rehab (IR).

“Well,” I hear you say. “A few weeks without the Internet is not bad.” A few weeks, admittedly, is not that bad. Even a nineties kid like myself should be able to cope with the withdrawal symptoms and sense of ignorance. But, in my defense, the net had only just started working! During my first month in Edinburgh I’ve spent a good 90% of my time without solid Internet access, taking what I can from university computers (and we all know that’s just not the same).

Yes, IR is quite the pain. You’re left tapping your foot against the leg of the kitchen table, wondering if anyone’s commented on that particularly witty status you posted on Facebook last night. Will you be able to eat tonight, or is your bank account still at £1.33? How can you tell your mother you’re alright and that you just have no credit on your sim card?

In all honesty, though, I have to admit — I’m rather enjoying the whole net-free experience. Instead of wiring money through the net, I walk to the Lloyds down the road and manage transactions there. Instead of hitting up BBC on my keyboard, I find myself rescuing abandoned Scotsmen for the latest news, and when I want to know what’s up with my friends, I call them, rather than Facebook-stalk them.

I’m feeling so refreshingly old school that I am forced to re-think the disadvantages of our generation’s Internet dependance. Whilst I half-joke around when I use the term addiction about myself, apparently it can be quite a problem. In China, for example, it’s quite the unslappable mosquito. Net addiction is so prevalent there that the government has funded high-discipline boot camps to tackle it, claiming 13% of the nation’s teenagers are addicted. In America, even the actress and celebrity Lindsay Lohan is reportedly being treated for her email and Twitter addiction.

Addiction extremities aside, I really only wanted to stir your thoughts on and keep you aware of the rising power of the Internet, as I feel it’s relevant to our degree. Online journalism is stronger than ever, what with its podcasts, blogs, Twitter feeds, etc. It’s likely to be a big part of our immediate and distant future. What are your thoughts on it? Do you prefer it to print journalism? And how do you feel about working with it?


3 Responses

  1. Great blog!
    I personally prefer print to online journalism. However, this social media part of the course has really shown me how powerful online journalism can be. It’s useful, quick and easy.
    As far as the internet addiction goes, I’m with you there. It’s difficult to spend one day with no internet. It’s a problem. I guess it would be nice to not have the option just for a few days but I certainly couldn’t cope with an internet-free month!

  2. “I find myself rescuing abandoned Scotsmen” – if this was taken out of context it would be so funny. Super-sonja! Hahaha loved the blog, glad you had the internet to post it!

  3. Ah, my friends!

    Haha, Charlotte, you understand me on the addiction front. Turns out I have to survive with the net until the 8th of November after all. Nooo!

    I am also liking online journalism more and more, exactly for the reasons you mentioned.

    And Alex, didn’t you know? Rescuing Scottish men is a pastime of mine! ;D

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