Friday, January 26, 2007

The wonders of wi-fi

Oh dear, I fear my New Year's resolution looks like it has been broken, and we're not even out of January. I am afraid that as I post this message, it'll show up as being posted on the 26th January rather than the 25th, because it is just that now in the UK.

I have an excuse however. Oh yes, I always have an excuse as my friends will gladly tell you (well I am a politician).

The hotel's wi-fi (wireless internet service) has been down until now (9pm Eastern Time), so I am officially blogging on Thursday 25th, although it's only Thursday 25th as a result of my time zone.

The fact that I can bring my laptop, just plug it in and happily tap away updating my blog and web site, effortlessly, thousands of miles from home, is truly wondrous.

I was left pondering about this while I was waiting for the system to come back on earlier today. Our ability to access information, details and one another at pretty much any time must, I surmised, play a part in people's increasing desire to ensure that they retain their privacy in their own homes.

Ten years ago the Internet was in its infancy, mobile phones were only just becoming popular and phone signal coverage didn't extend far beyond our towns and cities, laptops were enormous and no one had ever heard of blackberries. Now, even whilst wandering around Fort Lauderdale I can receive texts, phone calls and e-mails from home on my Blackberry, I can respond to them all, I can access the Internet to change my flight arrangements and I can even post to this blog.

Whilst that makes home, my job (Rubyz) and my vocation (politics) completely accessible, it also makes me totally accessible to other people. Sometimes it's nice (and necessary) to get away from all of that. Increasingly that comes when you get home and shut the door on the world. I can fully understand therefore why people should wish to retain their privacy in their own home and why I return to the opinion that privacy is going to be a huge issue in the years to come.

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