There are countless advantages to living in a world city like London. Some advantages though are rather costly and wearing on the soul. London is connected 24/7-365.
24 hours a day seven days a week and 366 days of the leap year. London is connected and aware of the rest of the world. Happenings in India, Africa and New Zealand have an effect in and on London.
Peoples from those places live here and are not anything but engaged with the good news as well as the bad. Some even have Apps on their phones which inform of the current or real time weather in those far off places.
People will immediately connect with people far away through the numerous channels now available to us all. Should we so wish.
The Internet is like a river vast and deep that carries voices and images from the past as well as the immediate past to the present day. Most Londoners are connected to it. Some for many hours every day.
Most business can no longer be transacted without engaging with the Internet. Social interactions appear to be conducted by many people through the mediation of the Internet.
Setting up an appointment with a Dentist may well be arranged through the Internet. Announce a happy birth and it is on the Internet, find a funeral director to bury a loved one and again you will search the Internet first.
When a horror strikes on the other side of the world. Who tells us first? The Internet. Like a vast spider’s web the threads vibrate and we can feel the vibrations here in London in the moments after the event.
London a world city has among our citizens people from every where as well as those who claim residency of nowhere laying claim to only a passing sojourn in London. The Internet could claim to be their city.
Cities especially port cites, and most cities are port cities connected to the oceans of the world, have a propensity to collect travellers. Travellers who stop for a while and inadvertently stay on is symptomatic of a city.
In the present era travellers do not lose their established connections unless they want to. Individuals who in days gone by would have lost connections with their families and friends across their world may now maintain those connections. This is a good thing. The challenge is that so much else comes down the same River.
In a very real sense we all have to learn to be our own editors now. Each of us has to curate our own media consumption and try to make sure that we are not buried in horror and rubbish.
Some time ago I heard the writer and journalist Peter Hitchens argue that we should choose to fill our minds with jewels and beauty.
I think he is correct and we should chase that activity. Go find a tree laden with blossom and say hello. Search out a friend today and shake them by the hand, why ‘poke’ them when you may instead speak face to face. Learn a poem today. Fill your mind and soul with treasures and push out all rubbish.
Nick Horne, London, England