One of Isaac Asimov’s 1964 predictions for how the world would look in 2014 was that “Mankind will suffer badly from the disease of boredom.” A fairly accurate suggestion, of which the internet is undoubtedly a cause. But is it really the problem?
Of course not. As Hine rightly argues - it is the lack of meaning in the information we are overloaded with. This is the real challenge the internet (or technology in general) presents. Any new development has to bring a human connectedness, and direct relevance to our relationships. Innovators must bear this in mind when shaping our future with new technology - otherwise far bigger consequences than boredom will soon have to be faced.
On my morning bus into town, every teenager and every grown-up sits there staring into their little infinity machine... Until a few years ago, it was unthinkable, this cornucopia of information. Those of us who were already more or less adults when it arrived wonder at how different it must be to be young now. ‘How can any kid be bored when they have Google?’ I remember hearing someone ask.