The corner pub: in our pockets, 24-7

A lone tweet arced across the sky and caught my attention:

Listening to a show on internet addiction. Is it the internet, or the stuff that’s on it? The medium, or the message?

I replied that it’s both the message and the medium: I think it’s some of both: appealing content, convenient packaging.

The Internet gives us two things that, as humans, we crave: inclusion — the sense of belonging to a community and being accepted — and information — keeping up with what’s going on in the community and in the larger world.

So the Internet is this century’s equivalent of the corner pub. A place where you went to mix with friends and neighbors, and catch up on the news. The availability of strong drink only added to the appeal.

Today we go online, mix with others on Facebook, on Twitter, or in blogs, and we catch up with the news from all over. The availability of entertaining content only adds to the appeal.

Internet addiction? Just as most people have always understood that you can’t spend every night at the pub, most of us know when to put the Internet down. Admittedly it’s harder when the Internet is right there in our pockets, 24-7.

Because the Internet scratches some of our most basic human itches, we shouldn’t be surprised that it’s so popular — some might say irresistible. It’s the message and the medium.

What’s your take?

Image

I don’t know this place personally. But it looks as inviting as any website.

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