This is an ode to the Internet. Because I feel it needs a bit of love.
We hear daily, and rightly, of Internet giants and exploiters using and misusing our personal data.
On the occasions I risk having an Internet-related conversation with my father, he’ll bemoan it’s evils (having never got beyond email) and cite an equally unknown Luddite academic who agrees with him on Radio 4.
And then there’s social media. Don’t get me wrong, I am grateful daily that my self-esteem, sense of self and identity was carved out before the invention of Instagram. My heart sinks a little bit each time my wonderful, smart and interesting nieces post a pouting picture.
But the Internet (and technology more widely) is incredible. It has created collaborations and learning across the globe, it’s connected isolated people, enabled extraordinary medical advances and, at the risk of hyperbole, lives have been truly transformed.
And at a really micro level, the fact that I know where all my colleagues are because of shared calendars. That they are safer thanks to the Internet. That fact that our entire business is on the cloud meaning we’re constantly sharing in real-time. We can collaborate with partners we’ve never met on the other side of the country, and in turn create better services for young people. I can run a business with minimal overheads because of what the Internet allows me to do and more importantly, learn.
So, yes let’s be careful with it and ourselves, let’s take responsibility for being the market that drove it at such pace that legislation had no chance of keeping up, and let’s celebrate it for everything it affords, reveals and enables too.