I am forty two years old. I mean that’s not that old is it? I still wear jeans and I like pop music. Am I kidding myself? A part of me wants to be old and to remember the good ‘ol days. Listen there is a reason behind this rambling and now that I think of it, it is someone getting a bit moralistic and brings me back to being a teenager and hearing the unwielding agony of “in my day.”
So to cut to the chase. I wanted to watch a DVD on Friday night. The thoughts of the Late Late show being my only avenue of escape was too much to handle. No issue with Ryan and the show, I just wanted to watch a movie. Here’s the rub. Xtravision has closed down. I don’t have Netflix and I don’t want to “download” a movie from a zillion free websites ( God I am sounding old amn’t I?) I just want to go into the “video shop” see the titles and rent one. Is that too much to ask? Apparently because my local “video shop is now being reconfigured into a pet shop. So what did I do? Nothing. What could I do?
Fill out a form and all of my details and subscribe? I only wanted to pay €4.95 or whatever it is and go home and watch a movie. Earlier in the day, I was in town. I wanted to buy a cd. HMV is also closed. I suppose I could buy it on line couldn’t I? I have the option of a download and never actually holding something physical. Or I could buy a copy and wait ten days for it to be delivered. Hey I could even buy a DVD to watch next Friday!
All joking aside. Our world is rapidly changing and we are constantly being introduced to new gadgets and gizmos that will leave everything at our fingertips. Mention buying a cd to a teenager today and they will look at you as if you are mad, “Why not just download it?” The point is this. Just because we can have every convenience available to us, is it necessarily the right thing? Listen to this story as an example.
I was recently in a bookshop in Dublin city centre. As I was perusing the titles a girl came in looking for a leather case for her kindle e-reader. The shop assistant advised her of the best option ( which incidentally was to go to Tesco as they were cheaper! ( “Don’t say I told you that I will be sacked!”)
As she went through the various options with the customer there was an interaction and the customer felt as she had been advised and left satisfied. Probably in Tesco as we speak.
Believe it or not but in the same shop another assistant was advising a twenty something girl on what children’s book to buy for a niece. Explaining the importance of the dialogue in the stories to the developing mind.
Here is the point. You can’t get that type of interaction on the internet. You can’t have the human touch, that communication that makes you see the good in human nature. So yes the Internet and smartphones and I-pads are fantastic but they are making a generation by-pass some necessity and ultimately grow up having ignored it. Don’t get me started on the five hundred and sixty “friends” teenagers have on facebook. How many of them are actually out there if they physically get up and go to meet them?
So no. I am not too old...and if I am to heck with it. I can embrace the Internet and marvel at the convenience. But others may not be so agreeable. The elderly, the not so well off who don’t have broadband, the purists, the illiterate, the mentally challenged.
The irony of ironies is that in creating this convenient world we have eradicated the need for our physical desires. Online music has dismissed the need for the music shop, E-readers have seen declining book sales. We are being told that newspaper print will be redundant in twenty years, Heck you can even have your football match programme sent to your i-phone in Croke Park! Now sorry but I think that is just wrong.
I am bored with Facebook and I will bore of Twitter. What will I do then when all of the books and cd’s and DVD’s are gone? Go on-line? Think I might turn on the Late Late...A lot of old people like it.