I miss you

As a digital immigrant, you have – just like “real” immigrants – acquaintances and friends who are left behind in their home country, the analogue world. And of course you meet them from time to time – or they call you if they have problems with their digital channels. After all, they are also present in the digital world, be that by emailing or surfing the Internet. But they deliberately avoid “social media” – perhaps because they are already stressed out when their mail server generates an error message or they have forgotten a password. For them I appear to be some kind of IT crack despite my lack of knowledge about programming, codes, routers or IP-numbers. But I am basically only capable of managing my computer and operating my mobile. My encounters with these “analogue” friends and family often have to do with technology. What they otherwise do and how they feel, I only get to know when I meet them personally. And if someone lives abroad, that might be the case just about once a year. And you know what? I miss these people in the digital world. Yet we read almost every day how impersonal and ultimately “anti-social” social networks are. Most people talk and write about how they miss personal encounters with their digital friends. The opposite has now happened to me: I was reminded by my Google calendar of someone’s birthday, and I congratulated him with a Whatsapp message. And I found it unfortunate that I know much less about his current life than about thousands of others I hardly know. Even a long call or get-together could not “catch up” with what I do not know about his life shown in my feed.

24.10.2019

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