Today I returned to the Cotswolds after a wonderful few days staying with my family in Essex. I would have stayed for slightly longer had it been for one thing – ability to access the internet. My family has been offline for over two weeks due to a fault with the phone line which is affecting most of the village. Consequently they are completely and utterly cut off technologically. Apart from the more trivial uses of the internet it means a lack of access to emails which, along with the various means of communication by mobile phone, is the principal means that most people use today to contact each other, especially when it comes to business. I had to return to Cirencester principally because I had a sea of emails to write and I required internet access to research the essay I am currently writing. It saddens me how reliant I am on the internet but it is the reality. This very blog and the entire blogosphere would be caput if the internet were to fall. For such a recent invention it has taken over our lives in so many ways. It certainly has its benefits but I wonder the extent to which it is causing additional problems? For example, does it lie at the heart of the reasons why children spend less and less time outside today? Probably. Nonetheless, it provides a means for many exciting pathways for people (conservationists included) to communicate and share ideas. Never before has the conservation world had a better tool to spread its work and ideas than today, with the opportunities social media and the internet provides us with. I am thankful to be back online and hope that BT can sort the situation out in Essex as soon as possible!