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Online Reality Bites
Posted on January 23rd 2012
On. Start. Accept. Refresh. Now.
In. Like. Post. Refresh. Now.
If you relate to these words, you belong either to Generation Y, or Generation X. You grew up in a world where if you wanted to listen to the latest song of your favorite band, you had to wait until it was played on the radio, and then you had to pray for the host not to speak, because you were about to press REC on your cassette recorder. You did your homework with heavy encyclopedias that our grandparents had in their living rooms, and read books that had been scratched by your older brothers.
Suddenly you saw how numerous volumes of dictionaries were available in Floppy-disks, and how you could scan an entire magazine and send it to a friend far away. If you were lucky enough you could even play the dozens of songs that were saved in one CD in the personal computer your father had in his room. Later, a couple of TV channels led the way to more than a 100. You can now see what you want, when you want it. Right now. You can now read what you want, when you want it. Right now.
If you were born in the early 1960s through the early 1980s you get what I'm talking about. The Generation X knows that Reality Bites. It was not easy to keep up with the boom of the home computer, the video game, cable television, and the WWW. When you saw the Dot-com bubble explode you quietly sighed. You thought you would have a couple of years off. But it came back and now Online Reality is biting as well.
If you were born in the late 1980s or as late as 2000s, you are one of the Generation Y, Millennials, Echo Boomers, or however you want to be called, and you are also feeling the itch, right?. But how come? You were born with an mp3 plugged in your ear. You had your first mobile when you were still a tween. The thing is, no matter how used you are to being online, you are also overwhelmed by media and digital technologies.
Having everything now, regardless if you need it or not, is a real blessing. But what happens when you don't have it? When that email is not showing up in your Inbox. When the movie is not downloading fast enough. When the system is down and you cannot let your Friend know how much you Like that picture. I’ll tell you what happens: You click Refresh over and over again. But sometimes the Refresh button is not Refreshing simply because there's nothing to be Refreshed. So you get anxious. Just like you are getting now, knowing that there are still a couple of paragraphs left before you finish reading this and can go back to your Profile. You get anxious.
Having internet access at almost all times is a great advantage; you just need to use this to your benefit. Like anything else in life, if you let it define you, then it’s time to step back and reconsider your approach. Stop checking your emails every minute. You don’t need to Refresh your Wall all the time. Enough with staring at your phone. Unplug your headphones, and keep your hands empty for a while. Raise your head up and stare at the window, or even better, just go for a walk outside. It will help you release anxiety and it will increase the chances of actually meeting someone in person.
Having said that, I'm glad I finished writing, ‘cause I suddenly feel the need to refresh this page.