I HAVE just switched off yet another current affairs/news programme which finished with the well worn statement about modern forms of communication that “the benefits far outweigh the negatives”.

With my wife, I have just began to consider that question. Have our minds really been opened up by modern communications or have we simply come to live our lives through a machine of some description? In our opinion, it has achieved the following:

  • Speeded up the pace of life until many people, young and old, are unable to function comfortably.
  • Denied children the opportunity to enjoy a real childhood – time to play inside and outside, time to cope with being bored, time to relax....
  • Created anxious parents who don’t or simply can’t allow their children to enjoy any or most of the above.
  • Enabled many individuals and families to live “cyber lives”, where everything is hunky-dory when the reality is somewhat different.
  • Caused competition, jealousy, anxiety and feelings of inadequacy among so-called friends.
  • Allowed worldwide access to and use of pornography.
  • Enabled terrorists to communicate easily; spreading their propaganda and hideous deeds into homes across the world.
  • Allowed online grooming of all kinds.
  • Allowed cyber bullying in its various forms.
  • Caused the availability of fake goods, ranging from teddy bears to drugs and medication.
  • Cyber scamming in all its forms.
  • The need for us all to continually search for a bargain or good deal. Feeling let down or a failure when other folk find a better one.
  • The near death of our high streets and town centres.
  • Generated a decline in social skills, verbal communication and good manners.
  • Allowed the spread of malicious misinformation and fake news about personal, local, national and world issues.

As the writing of this email proves, technology has many positives to offer but on a personal level we aren’t sure that the benefits do outweigh the negatives.

Alan Jackson, Tudhoe