The world of the internet is a fine thing, obvs, we know how it has improved out lives in all sorts of unimaginable ways, (although there are downsides, see Jane’s post here) in fact some of us (ahem, me) are so very attached to the cleverness of the internet that when recently I appeared to lose contact with our Instagram account I nearly went into complete meltdown. NOT being able to connect was a heart-stopping moment! Similarly when today I dropped a cup of tea into my keyboard and my virtual world turned a sort of flickering sepia and threatened to go blank, my immediate concern was not -I’ve just cost myself a lot of money messing up my expensive laptop but more ‘oh no I can’t get access!’
HOWEVER, it’s not just me, but also Middleagedad, who is developing new addictions. He isn’t that fussed about Twitter, Instagram and the like but is definitely loving the way it makes him the most knowledgeable man alive. Via google, he knows EVERYTHING. INSTANTLY. As exciting as this sounds, it is starting to drive me slightly mad. And it’s not just him. It seems this ability to answer every question life throws up at you is appealing to other middleagechaps he’s friendly with. Need to know exact length of the third track on Led Zeppelin’s first album? No probs…I’ll just look that up…what’s the density of coal?…hang on…I’ll just find out.
The head goes down, his face takes on that ‘let me see’ seriousness that he adopts when researching and his screen wizzes into action as I lose him to the world of Wikipedia and the like until the Fact is Found and we can all relax. Joyously he will recite the research, needing no additional praise as it is enough that he now knows a bit more than he did 5 minutes ago.
We may be in the middle of a conversation, out with friends or having supper but this is no hinderance to him stopping everything and looking at the nearest screen. Life is now punctuated by research-gaps, where everything stops until we all know the answer.
With his phone, middleagdad is able to satisfy his inner information-geek, started during childhood via his dad, who hankered after a set of Encyclopedia Britannica (definitely far too expensive to justify buying) as the advertising for them hinted that the answers to life, the Universe and EVERYTHING could be found within their pages.
I don’t begrudge him this, it’s rather sweet, but I am a tiny bit exasperated by it as I have no need to know the answer to everything. I am no better off knowing the exact date of the building of Nelson’s Column in Trafalgar Square. I suppose it balances out my twitter/Instagram obsession and it’s interesting how we’re using our mobile access in different ways, him to Know Everything and me to chat, connect and look at pictures. Some things never change, despite technology.
Does anyone else have a partner developing this fact-finding habit?