Occasionally these two worlds would meet. Sometimes I'd meet a fellow blogger who had accidentally (or on purpose) ended up in the Netherlands and with whom I'd have an almost surreal couple of hours of real life interaction. Occasionally, also, some email contact on issues of importance, getting to know each other a little better or offering words of comfort at moments that the going was really rough. These were the occasions that made my virtual presence worthwhile, the moments of connection and understanding, of knowing that like and sympathetic minds existed in all corners of our global village. I loved it.
Imagine my dismay that next to these forms of identication with my online life, I suddenly discover entities and organisations appearing in the world around me, disturbing what I'd perceived to be a fairly clear cut divide. During the last two weeks I've seen billboards plastered around the city, extolling the virtues of the services Google can provide for the improvement of the human race, as well as for Amazon.com who are into selling practically anything and everything nowdays, up to and including one's grandmother if one isn't careful.
Perhaps it's just me, getting old and not particularly appreciative of the new fangled nonsense being put around. I'm not all that happy the way these parts of my internet world are all too visibly trespassing on my (by now) reasonably organised world. Although the internet world has become thoroughly soaked by commercial self-interest, it was also a world in which I could pick and choose what to see, what to ignore and what to tolerate whenever and however necessary. This morning, when I cycle to work, I'll pass two huge Google billboards, a large poster for Amazon.com, and find advertisements for eBay and Yahoo! (what the exlamation mark is for I'm not sure) in the daily newspaper, along with a lot of other nonsense which belongs to the internet but with which I don't interact with in a meaningful way.
It leaves me wondering what to do... put on my blinkers once again, stick my head in the sand or just sigh in resignation of the inevitable. Give me time, I'll probably get over it but I don't like it right now. I just think that life's about more than commerce and economics. The world's about people like you and me, who care and care for each other (isn't it?).