If, like me, you can remember Why Don’t You (Switch off your Television Set and go and do something Less Boring Instead)? we probably have a lot in common. We can remember the days when television was the only distraction; when we were warned by parents that we would end up with square eyes; when there were only three channels (and I was not the only child I knew who was banned from watching ITV for fear that I would be brainwashed by the adverts).
In 2009, John Gibson, chair of the Independent Schools Association, told its annual conference that children are growing up in ”prison-like environments” because they are surrounded by technology. The same must be true of adults, especially those who are unable to avoid it in their working lives.
The challenge of disconnecting today is immense. When people ask me how I found the time to write when I worked full time, the answer is easy. I didn’t have the internet at home, so I spent that precious hour that others waste on Facebook grafting away, sentence by sentence. I can honestly say that if I had been on-line, Half-truths and White Lies (and its predecessor that shall remain nameless) would never have been written. It frightens me now that every hour or so I have an urgent compulsion to check my inbox to make sure that Vouchercodes have not emailed with their latest offers, offers I will, in all likelihood, not take advantage of. At least I recognise this for what it is: an addiction.
So Why Don’t You?