That was it, really.
We were poor, we couldn’t afford a telephone and that forced me to make all my communications face to face.
Don’t times change?
These days, I get up in the morning and log on to Skype, and catch up with people all over the world.
I use e-mail more than any other communications method, and most of my business dealings take place electronically.
Convenience and speed in our communications
I remember my corporate working days, flying all over the world just for a few meetings.
These days, people favor speed and efficiency over time-consuming and lengthy meetings. The days when people would congregate in a boardroom for hours are over.
Instead, we use videoconferencing, text and e-mail as a quicker and more effective way of getting our points across. We save time, money and effort by using these new methods for meetings.
How is this affecting our way of life?
When Amazon.com first launched, people shied away from purchasing books online.
We didn’t like the idea of buying a novel without picking it up, reading the back and responding to the image on the cover.
As time has gone by, we’ve become more comfortable with online shopping.
Sites such as Ebay let us get our hands on things which we may not find in our local shops, meaning we can sit in alone and buy things, relying on the post to deliver our goods instead of getting out there and choosing things for ourselves, in person.
Online shopping is another great example of how we’re switching to a digital age.
Now, we can browse for our fruit and vegetables without leaving the comfort of our own homes, and sites such as Tesco and Asda let us do our weekly shop without stepping foot outside.
Services like this, all done over the web, have transformed the way we run our homes and businesses.
Run out of printer ink?
Buy it from Ebay.
Need some dog food?
Get it from Tesco and they’ll deliver it the next day.
People with little time and lots of money can run their businesses and households online, without ever stepping foot outside their front door.
People who I’ve never met buy my blog set up, blog maintenance and blog writing services. They may look at my testimonials or ask for a reference – that’s fine. They become customers and we work together 6,000 miles apart.
Losing out on social interaction
What we gain in convenience, we seem to be missing when it comes to social interaction.
There are a hundred films out there that show people meeting in chance encounters at grocery stores or cafes, and one thing leads to another.
In this age where we can sit in our front rooms and run our lives from the comfort of our sofa, we are missing out on some of the fundamental elements of what it means to be human.
If we continue to run our lives through the World Wide Web, will we lose our powers to make friends, interact face to face, or bump in to people in the street?
With all the ingenuity of the internet, we have to make sure we hang on to some of what is important to us as people.
We need to get out there and be a part of our community, and get back some of the social interaction that we risk losing through our online connections.
Striking a happy medium
Working from home has so many benefits. It gives us the power to run our businesses as we want to, and make a success of ourselves, without answering to other people.
In the same way, we have a responsibility to ourselves to maintain the important things in life – the friends we meet for coffee, the random encounter in the grocery store, and the pleasure of picking up a novel, reading the back of it and deciding to buy it.
What are your experiences of using the web?
Is it convenient, or is it making us lose out on being sociable?
Please share your views in the comments below.