There was once an episode of 70s BBC sitcom Whatever Happened To The Likely Lads?, where the main characters tried to avoid the result of a football match until the highlights were shown on TV that evening. Hilarity ensued. If that episode was made again now, the characters would have to lock themselves into a nuclear bunker and wait for the Internet fallout to dissipate. Or maybe in a hatch underground, waiting to push a button every 108 minutes…
Technology has given us the ability to access news and a hundred gazillion different opinions whenever we want, but in opening up all this information it has also made big stories much more difficult to avoid. Our daily routine features any and all of radio, television, email, Facebook, Twitter, forums and much more besides. Given all this, in order to avoid any spoilers for the final episode of Lost, I had to go completely dark. No Twitter, no Facebook, no forums, no entertainment news, no nothing. It felt weird to have to go to such lengths just to avoid finding out what happened in a TV show, and thinking about how much I had to steer clear of today really made me consider how influential the “always-on” nature of today’s world is on our lives. Without it, I felt like I wasn’t on the pulse, that things could be happening which I didn’t know about. It’s the same kind of feeling as I usually have when I’m on holiday, that I’m somehow missing out by not having access to my usual sources of info.
I guess I’ve become so much of a news junkie that I’m incapable of going back.
Luckily, today’s blackout was worth it, as the final episode of Lost was very good indeed. Hopefully, though, I won’t have to go all Luddite again for a long while.