Yes: the Internet is wonderful …. or, rather it can be. We can use it to keep in touch with friends, family, (and some who are both) at the click of a rodent, sending greetings, news and trivia the world over. It’s a wonderful means of communication . . or is it? Is it possibly only a marvellous way of broadcasting? i.e one-way communication.
Maybe BECAUSE it is so easy to send a message, people appreciate less the fact that you have sent one! I think in the ‘old days’ (which must be some time ago… letter writing had already diminished a great deal by the time I was a kid) if someone sent you a letter you would reply in a leisurely manner whilst noting the contents of the letter and responding appropriately. With e-mail, there seems to be a greater likelihood (in my experience) to simply think ‘oh, there’s a message from so and so….’ and leave it at that. Even with ‘important’ messages about work etc. there is still a tendency to ‘firefight’ messages- deal quickly with the part of it that is easy and quick to do and ignore the rest of it. …which, of course, given the door handle syndrome, is likely to contain the most important elements towards the end… the door-handle for those of you not familiar with the expression- is that situation where you go to visit somebody in their office and only mention the real reason for the visit as your are actually leaving the room whilst actually holding the door handle . . for a quick escape, maybe ‘. . . and by the way, John, you’re fired…..’
BUT the Internet CAN be great. I’ve started and maintained friendships with many musicians in Italy via the internet. Max, Aldo and Marcello in Sicily, Enzo, and Walking Trees and many other friends in Calabria and my dear friend ‘Dirty’ Lorenz Zadro in Verona. Lorenz and I have just confirmed a series of three concerts in the Verona area at the beginning of April. We met on My Space and this is the third year we have performed together like this. So over the internet, I’ll send him a set list, mp3’s of new songs I’ve written with the chords:- I’ll turn up we’ll do a couple of hours rehearsal with the band Lorenz on guitar, Matteo Vallicella – bass, and Giacomo Aio – drums . . and the scene is set for three days of music and fun. How good is that?!! A presto ragazzi! Non vedo l’ora! So if you live in the Verona area, come and say hello! Rowland Jones and the True Blues Band 2-3-4 April 2011.
When I think about it, the internet has enabled me to do lots of things from my rural retreat! I recorded music for a film shot in California working with a production team with whom I never even had one conversation- that one ended up in The Cannes Short Film Festival. Shortly after the Verona trip, we’re off to Maastricht for the launch of a book of Dutch poetry; my contribution of a dozen sketches was all done via the internet. You can’t knock that sort of technology, can you?