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My quiet backwater of the net

CAVEAT EMPTOR: Coastalblog would like to point out that he's about to discuss something of which his knowledge is scanty, but that's largely the point.

As I age the one thing which is a source of constant surprise to me is the Internet. Not in and of itself, I've been a fan and avid consumer of its manifold treasures for many a long year now. But I'm struggling to adjust to its pervasiveness now. I'm part of the last generation who can remember a pre-internet age. A childhood without messenger, christmases having to write multiple thankyou letters rather than one standard thank-you email.

I was, at the time, reasonably ahead of the game in understanding the net, its potential and its usefulness. But now I have to hold my hand up and admit that I am woefully off the pace. I feel like I felt several years ago when I realised that I didn't care as much about music as I used to, that I wasn't keeping remotely up to date with anything remotely resembling the bleeding edge. I was mildly surprised to discover that I wasn't arsed; that I was thinking to myself y'know, maybe I'd be better off actually listening to the (admittedly terrifying) amount of CDs I already have (I'm about six years behind as currently stands, I say, that Magnetic Fields album is awfully good isn't it?). I am officially behind the times. Coastalblog, bless it, is the Triumph Herald of the blog world, but it'll do for me. The whole idea of MySpace baffles me (why not go to the pub?), whilst I understand the appeal of YouTube and Flickr I simply don't have the time to really immerse myself in them to find the good stuff. Second Life strikes me as just plain weird.

The point of this post I suppose is simply that the web has moved on from its cosy beginnings and is now a point of reference for a large proportion of the world, and it seems oddly all-enveloping too me. I always saw it as a tool rather than an extension of life, and this outlook puts me firmly on the old side of the technological fence (not that I'm unhappy to be there). I don't mind knocking around on ILX for a couple of hours if there's something interesting to discuss. It's nice to keep up with people's blogs, but the majority of my friends will be in the pub in a couple of hours. I can talk to them there (this may tie in to the fact that I'm not much of a texter, either). I feel guilty about not reading all the professionally relevant journals out there but there's only so much information you can take in. I barely have enough time to lead a life in the actual world, let alone the virtual one. Frankly, I don't know how kids today do it. God I'm getting old.


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