Who hasn't got a cell phone? And who has never tried to interact on social networks and chats? We have to admit it, the society has changed more in the last decades then it ever has in millenniums and we have elaborated incredible ways to communicate and stay in touch.
Maybe the need to stay connected 24/7 to everyone is a reaction to the alienation and loneliness of the modern "independent individuals" always-more-divorced society, and an attempt to turn our virtual relationships into our new big family. But at the same time tools like Skype permit people from all around the world to hear and see their loved ones at all times.
My question is - do we feel psychologically obliged to be responsive and online constantly?
"Stop calling me, I'm kinda busy" sings Lady Gaga - turning off our phones and being unreachable for a couple of days has become a luxury that only 40 years ago was totally normal. Nowadays if your boss sends an email to your blackberry at night, and you don't see it - the fault is yours.
Another question arises - is there someone who is profiting on our need to stay in touch?
Our phones easily indicate our exact position to the mobile provider even when they are off, and we can as well decide to share our location with our friends and contacts. Social networks show our opinions through statuses and fan pages starting with taste in music, goods, or services and ending with political preferences.
Not only Google can track down any statistics on what people need and look for and theoretically influence the result of the research, it has also a pictured three-dimentional map of the streets of many cities - often seen as intrusive and potentially dangerous for foreign affairs.
Do we have the freedom to decide to hide something or are we constantly controlled? Have the Big Brother times really arrived?
The difference between Huxley and Orwell's novels and the current situation is that not only the rulers are to observe and control the masses, but it's a two-way tool: any person can stand up and be heard more easily from large numbers of people: Julian Assange and his cables have proved how quickly a guy who apparently has nothing to do with large communication politics is able to reach the whole population and create big political controversy throughout the web.
The freedom and democracy of internet, at least in certain countries, has given equal opportunities for many - bloggers can express themselves in every way they want, from fashion to literature, and can decide to build their own image and fortune only through their talents and without needing any intermediaries. New stars are often discovered at a very young age after posting their performances on video sharing sites.
The net not only provides quick interaction, but also free books, pictured tours into the most important museums, as well as language tutorials and university open sessions.
Progress can't be stopped.