In an age when everything is available via the internet or delivered to our door are we at risk of loosing sight of the importance of the simple pleasures which have kept us reasonably happy for so long? One of my fondest memories growing up in Dublin was venturing into town and spending a Saturday afternoon in virgin mega stores with my friends. The expedition would be prepared for in the bedroom of whoever had the more lenient parents, while we giggled over swapping clothes, experimenting with makeup and stealing a splash of whatever perfume was available on the way out. To the adults on the bus we looked like over done teenagers with clearly no boundaries at home! But we felt like catwalk models, all secretly hoping the cute guy with the pink hair was working. With an afternoon of listening to music on the headphones provided and riffling through the hoards of cds on display we gained a memorable social and fun experience that no amount of downloading could provide.
As with an avid reader with a passion for not only the contents of a good book but for the feel of it, the smell and unknown history behind a second hand novel and the pleasure of turning each page as the story unfolds while using a precious bookmark to pause surely can not be equalled with a kindle. The story may still be enjoyable but the experience lost.
As we become more reclusive in our hobbies are we at risk of long term damage to our social being? And when we do venture out with friends what happens our psyche when the photos of a great night out become public on facebook? Are we expected to not cringe at the fact that friends we have only met in the virtual world are allowed to trawl through some of our most precious moments? Or do we just post the thought and hope someone out there feels the same?

Erika Sanger

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