You may or may not have noticed the fact I didn’t go on the internet at all from last Saturday until yesterday, due to an extremely busy life in the real world. To be honest, I’d hope it was the latter. I’m not sure what’s worse, the fact that somebody spends so much time online their unannounced absence was noticed, or the people that spend so much time on the internet to notice the other person’s absence.
I was informed on twitter that Tom from McFly (who I’m not following, just so you know) hadn’t tweeted in twelve hours, and fans had created a hashtag, #findfletcher. Twelve little hours he hadn’t posted an update. Did it not cross any of these fans’ minds that he might be actually having a life away from the internet, with friends or family, or in the recording studio, or even simply sleeping? What do these people do – or not do – to notice his absence and make such a fuss over it?
It’s not just celebrities, either. I’ve seen people ask where other users are, when it’s most likely they’re either snowed under with work not to have time to come online, or away from the computer actually having a life.
That’s the problem with the internet. It’s so easy, so instant, that not posting for half a day can cause such uproar. Sure, it’s easy to text ‘Having a chinese with the parents’ to let people know what you’re doing, but the point is, it’s unnecessary. How did we get to the point we have to inform others on our menial everyday activities.
This isn’t one of those ‘I’m going to give up social networking as it’s awful’ posts, because a) I’m not going to and b) I don’t see it as awful. Much to the contrary, in fact. I’ve met many new friends on the internet I’d never have otherwise known, and it’s fantastic for keeping in touch with old schoolfriends, too. But when you’re online so much people notice your absence, or you’re noticing other people’s absences, maybe it’s time to take a step back.