The Disconnect: Stark thoughts on the lonely dystopia of the internet

The best of Roisin Kiberd’s personal essays bring real insight and an unblinking gaze

Roisin Kiberd: ‘I am an emotional cyborg’

Roisin Kiberd: ‘I am an emotional cyborg’

Generationally speaking, the internet is a millennial: born in the late 1980s and now entering its uncertain 30s. On the world-historical scale, though, the internet remains the enfant terrible of communications technologies.

By comparison, the printed codex has been with us for six centuries; TV is tuning up for its first centenary (in 2027); commercial radio is doddering towards its 121st birthday this year. All of these established technologies are now boringly regulated, declared largely safe for daily use (barring the occasional panic about, say, the crassness of reality television). But the internet hasn’t yet been tamed, or even, perhaps, properly understood.

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