Continuing in my long list of ideas on technological dependancies. I though I would turn my attention to the World Wide Web. Yes the thing you are viewing this on now.
With the web becoming a self-purpetuating cloud of buzz words and ways for us to communicate for free, could we live without it. Simple answer is; NO, we just couldn't live without the resoruce that is the web.
So why is this? Well a biased look at myself might be a place to start so: I sit a my mac far too long and have often been told to get a life, but every bit of information I could ever want is at hand be it current affairs, or historical information or maybe just what did I put in that e-mail yesterday - its all there, and it even follows me around.
So what of the generation that is not of the internet age, i.e. my parents. So theres my mum who buys and sells on eBay, my dad uses a Powerbook to do the photography stuff he enjoys and casually surfs the net.
My sister is sucked into the IM revolution, the fact I only get messages saying "jack my computers broke how do I fix it?" I don't really bother with it.
My sister doesn't have a mySpace account and neither do I, and this is where my problem begins with web 2.0 I like having access to all the breadth of information but I arent interested in the social networking rubbish. We are already to dependant on Computers, and people are getting Fatter and Fatter, but there is, nothing like a face to face conversation with somebody, you can correspond with somebody via e-mail (this is espescially true in business) and like what you hear, but when you actually see the person you don't after having a face to face conversation, doing everything online cuts out this judgement.
I only see mySpace as a collecting pot for the popular and the unpopular and the people in the middle of the scale just dont fit in with the way the system works, we then have the inherent problems with such a online network which have been widely published but no-one has come up with a solution that works. The actual solution is quite simple, do it in the real world.
Moving on from my rant on mySpace, and on to broader things. The internet is starting to populate every little facet of out lives, I don't go a morning without checking my emails and reading the latest news online, but also its going further there are fridges that will do your shopping online for you, all you have to do is zap the barcode on the way out from the fridge.
Are we becoming the masters of our on destruction, putting all our things online centralizing everything we are certainly already more at risk to ID theft and fraud. Do we need to become more aware of the security of our details? and should we constantly be thinking online we are at risk?
On the flip side, we benefit in areas putting everything online, by having having everything within reach at any web access point, I can sit down in town and tell my iMac at home to record a film on that night with a click. My phone can alert me when that important e-mail drops in my inbox. Overall I would say I am the worst organized person I know, but having multiple ways to access my data I have so far managed to keep everything going and on-time, especially with college stuff.
I think overall we shouldn't get paranoid but, we should be ever more aware about how much about us we put online and how many databases we are in and what that data does when it is no longer used. Is it wrong to ask a company like google to remove all you details from there databases (think google Accounts) when you no longer use there service anymore and is there a procedure for this, the UKs data protection act says not, but other countries aren't so controlling in this regard; just this morning i got 4 e-mails from lycos even though I said remove my details from there database.
Do we need a universal law, on data protection and use on the internet? Would you sleep easier at night?