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We are in the digital age, whether we like it or not

5 months ago

I recently listened to a guest speaker, teaching the young people I work with, about the dangers of the digital world, in particular the use / misuse of Social Media.

The law was spelled out to the seventeen and eighteen year olds. The term ‘digital footprint’ ending the session.

We live in a digital world and we read articles on digital platforms.

I recently visited Newcastle and was fortunate enough to get tickets (digital) for the Brentford game. Tickets downloaded to my Apple wallet.

The matchday programme is still available as a hard copy magazine and I try to buy one at every game I go to, continuing a tradition which I have had since being younger than my son. He has a growing collection thanks to friends in Newcastle who send them down to him.

Back in ’75 or ’76 I was at a pre-season game against Middlesborough (Anglo Scottish Cup) if I remember right. A sparse crowd for a late August game and me, my brother and best mate stood in the Gallowgate paddock of the New East Stand.

The following week, first game of the season, we purchase our match programme, turn to the action photos of the previous week’s game and as clear as day, there we are. The action must have been on that flank as we could see us stood there leaning against the crush barriers in nineteen seventies clothing and with long hair.

The excitement of seeing us, me and my mate in black and white in a football action photo.

Probably today’s equivalent would be a Tik Tok or Insta video getting thousands of views.

My collection of programmes grew over the years but alas they have vanished after the death of my Mam. When football became ticketed it meant that little paper keepsake became a valued possession. This little paper collection easy to transport stuffed into pockets. At the same time tickets for gigs at the City Hall and the Mayfair etc., all the punk bands I saw, mixed in with the footie tickets, telling a story of social history.

And so, to today, my son appears to have my collecting bug, he thumbs his programmes and flicks through the tickets for games, organises and re-organises these keepsakes and memories.

I checked my wallet on my iPhone today and the tickets for the Brentford game had gone.

I had no evidence that I had been there but simply memories of the game (and a programme). Digital tickets used to gain entry to the ground, but now non-existent.

Yesterday, I bought tickets for this Saturday’s Dulwich Hamlet game, digital of course. We are increasingly reliant on the digital space. We are in the digital age, whether we like it or not.


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