This brilliant monster. What’s your relationship with the internet?

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The old Cartesian aphorism ‘I think therefore I am’ has been replaced by ‘I log on, therefore I can know.’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.