Yesterday morning saw me at the station once again this time I was off to Guildford from where I'd get the bus to Witley where I go to the dentist. Yes I know it's mad but I have been going to this particular dentist since before we moved to France and even used to fit appointments in with visits to friends during my time living there. He will be retiring later this year so I will be forced to find another and will then chose to find one nearer home! The chap in the ticket office joked that I was at the station more often than he was recently!
Anyway dental appointment over I got the bus back to Guildford where I
met up with a friend for lunch and a good gossip and afterwards we
walked in the Castle grounds - I used to take my lunch in here sometimes
when I worked in Guildford so it was a trip down Memory Lane for me.
I noticed this morning an article on the internet about Wi-Fi on trains. Apparently the government is to spend £90m (I understand some of this money will be from fines paid by Network Railfor missing key punctuality targets) on an upgrade which "means people can more easily work and
keep up with friends while on journeys". Now as you know I am a bit of a Luddite but is this the best use of funds I wonder - why is it that people cannot survive a train journey without being able to do work which entails use of their computers nor to be out of contact with their colleagues for a few hours. This all made me think about life in the 21st century and to wonder whether coming generations will lose the ability to make real contact with each other. Does having 100s of "friends" on Facebook, sending constant text messages back and forth to each other or having their attention permanently on their mobile phone screens mean that some people are living in a "virtual" rather than a real world? Is virtual contact taking the place of face to face communication, how can one read the messages that as humans we have learned to pick up on when actually with people, what could possibly replace the gentle touch of a hand when someone is upset or grieving and nothing beats a real Hug of course. Yes technology is wonderful and we do of course interact with people in these new ways which could not have been imagined such a short time ago but surely it should not be allowed to become such a vital part of our daily lives? Living in the 21st century is wonderful as we are able to chose which parts of modern life we want to make use of and leave the rest and I don't for one moment think that life years ago was necessarily better than now nor that our parents or grandparents lives couldn't have been improved had they had some of the things we now have but let's keep things in perspective and remember those things which were better and not lose sight of real communication between people, eye contact, touch and so on. Then maybe instead of all these gizmos on the trains we might take time to enjoy the passing scenery, to think, to take time out for the duration of the journey or even heaven forfend to talk to each other! Am I mad or do you agree with me here?