Re-connecting with reality

by | 6 June 2021 | Education and Learning, Hobbies, Rotherham, U3A

In 1994, Tim Berners-Lee invented the internet, paving the way for massive developments in technology. Words like connectivity, surfing, streaming, and Zooming gained new meanings; others such as Googling, podcast and download were coined to describe technology’s rapid advance.
Whether at home or away, smart devices made it possible to see and speak with family and friends, control central heating, lights and ovens, order goods and track their progress, measure and transmit health information to medics, and much more besides. This wonderful, digital world brings many benefits, but has more than a few drawbacks, not least of which is lack of human contact.
People are social by nature. Families, work colleagues, friends, team, leisure and peer groups give structure, support, affection, activity and add enjoyment to daily life. The past 18 months have deprived people of real contact with others. Virtual contact has helped those able to access it, but hopefully June will see a return to reality as social opportunities are opened up.
In common with other associations, Rotherham u3a has begun re-opening doors to its 30-plus activities. Already, with numbers and activities adjusted to meet COVID safety regulations, the gardeners are busy planting out, Walking Cricket is “up and walking”, and the strollers will shortly resume their fortnightly walks. Meanwhile, trustees and co-ordinators of indoor groups, are looking at COVID-safe ways to re-start them all. Although some may re-open in June, all hopes are pinned on a full September start.
In the meantime, thanks to Berners-Lee and his successors, meetings will remain virtual, with the happy vision of re-connecting with reality made real!
To discover what’s happening, see www.u3asites.org/rotherham.