This brilliant monster. What’s your relationship with the internet? March 12, 2018 News In 1943, Thomas Watson, then Chair of IBM, is reputed to have said: ‘I think there is a world market for maybe five computers.’ It proved an inaccurate prediction; but then the largest computer at the time, known as Colossus, weighed a tonne…but had less power than a lap top. Nowadays, the internet offers round-the-clock research facilities, news, entertainment, advertising, banking, shopping auctions, holiday booking, flat hunting, house purchase, gambling, dating and health care advice. It gives unprecedented power to the individual; but there’s a cost, for it can also leave them exhausted, anxious or depressed. One psychologist called our relationship to the internet as that of ‘high-functioning junkies’. Our mind is besieged by information: it is estimated that every day we are subjected to over 3000 marketing messages, each impacting on our mood. The old Cartesian aphorism ‘I think therefore I am’ has been replaced by ‘I log on, therefore I can know.’ It’s a competitive and restless world of information overload. Sometimes, however, our mind needs peace; and the 24/7 availability of the internet cuts us off from the natural rhythms of sunrise and sunset, and from the principal of Sabbath rest. So we’ll handle with caution and care; perhaps we’ll put in some boundaries. The internet is a brilliant monster, here to serve us…but not diminish or consume us.