I was watching the local news last week and a segment popped up that talked about the release of new internet stats. I canâ€™t find the link to the piece otherwise Iâ€™d happily provide it here. Anyway, the story centred on the internet: now preferred over TV for entertainment and info-gathering.
And surprise: Facebook, by a country mile, is now the most popular social networking site.
Facebook, MySpace and all the other online â€œtime-wastersâ€, surely take up more and more of our prime living, breathing, thinking time. I use the internet a lot. Itâ€™s an important tool for my work, my job. I probably use it more on-the-job than off. Iâ€™m fairly sure I’m near the top of my demographicsâ€™ internet usage stats.
No matter how we spend our time, especially our â€œfreeâ€, non-work, non-family time, we know that itâ€™s finite â€“ thereâ€™s only so much of the stuff to go around. I wonder if the internet, while a fantastic medium to connect people, may be having a negative impact on the quality of other â€œfree timeâ€ pursuits; think pipes, drums.
Really, think about it: if someone is frantically clicking away on Facebook, regaling their friends with weather updates, their moods and the pork chop in the pan for supper, then youâ€™d have to think that for the average user, more Facebook — for example — means less attention to other things, like music-making â€“ and thinking about music-making. From my experience, when it comes to creating music it is the thinking part that is more important than the making part.
Just a thought.
A little book Iâ€™ve always enjoyed is Angus Macphersonâ€™s autobiography, â€œA Highlander Looks Backâ€. In a cultural context, a bagpipe context, he writes of another time and place: the nineteenth century Scottish Highlands. I wonder if his time was more conducive to great music-making than ours:
â€œAs a very willing pupil by the peat fire at Badenoch, I was initiated into the mysteries of piobaireachd, my tutor being my father, a product of the MacCrimmon school of Skye. In this modest school of learning, I have seen men who after a hard dayâ€™s work, walk ten or twenty miles for their ceol mor lessons, no matter what the weather, and in the small hours of the morning, after Highland hospitality and the environment of the good old-fashioned ceilidh, they would tread their homeward way with their minds steeped in that which conveys to the Highlander something which nothing else can.â€
Not so much time in those days for Facebooking, â€œMike is happy that the grass is cutâ€.
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