Wednesday, November 13, 2013

The world is one

The world is one, now that everything that happens on this earth is known in minutes by the whole globe.  We are all connected, both in tragedy, as when we see the disaster in the Philippines, and in simple human contact, as an email I received yesterday showed me.

Guy and Mei are now into their second week in Nanning, and I received an email from Guy telling me how things are going (very well, indeed, I gather, to my great relief), and attaching an email he had received from a New Zealand acupuncturist, trying to contact me.  So there was this thread passing from New Zealand to Guy in London, which was then forwarded to Guy in China then on to me, back in London again.  And I am now going to sit down and reply sending a message back from London to New Zealand.  Through this email we have drawn a circle round the world.

This has made me realise once more how apt a description the worldwide web is.  It is both an amazing and a terrifying invention, tightly enmeshing us together, as though we do all indeed live in some spider’s web, exposed to one another in a way no previous generations were.  It links us so closely that it should make the world a less lonely place, and yet it can also distance us from one another, as increasingly we are learning to contact each other, not voice to voice, face to face and eye to eye, but through machines holding each other at bay.

And the desperate now invade our homes as we sit in front of our TVs feeding ourselves from our well-stocked larders, whilst watching poor Filippinos struggling to reach food and shelter.  Do they feel that the numerous microphones recording their tragedies and sending news of them winging through the world lessen their pain?  Or do they feel even more isolated, as though well-fed outsiders are staring at them like visitors to a zoo?

No comments:

Post a Comment