I woke up this morning to see a text message on my phone from an old friend which took me back down memory lane…
The question, ‘are you online?‘, took me back to the days of being a teenager and at University when phones were ‘dumb’ (i.e. not smart) and MSN was the main channel of communication between us when separated first by parental rules, and later by geographical distance. Back then the text ‘are you online?‘ had meaning; you might be online but without MSN open. Texts and calls cost money, ‘are you online?‘ also meant ‘can we talk?.’.
It struck me that now that question has little meaning, so pervasive has internet communications become. Next to my bed are three digital devices, two of which are online even when they are ‘sleeping’, and I hardly ever turn them off.
In fact, the only reason I didn’t get the message was because I was unconscious, asleep. I am always online.