I am time traveller. Or so it seemed at midnight on New Year’s Eve when the fireworks were going off on the fringes of the forest-clad New Zealand lake outside my door.  Back in England, my friends were grimly waiting for the old year to die, while for me the new was a hopeful reality.

Miraculous advances in technology allow us to travel not just in time but in space, so that we effortlessly chat face to face to loved ones 12,000 miles and twelve hours away. There are times when the far end sounds as if it’s at the bottom of the sea, but nonetheless it’s now commonplace to communicate in ways that not long ago were the stuff of science fiction.

As we grow closer to the uttermost ends of the world, we also turn inwards, becoming more and more closed social communities, even though geographically far-flung. Our New Zealand friends talk obsessively about Brexit and human rights and social inequalities, saying all the same things our English friends say. Nobody voices an alternative opinion (not of course that I want to hear an alternative opinion).

It's easy to see why – community feels threatened by the vastness of the world opened up to us by technology, so we feel we must cling together. But isn’t that a form of cowardice?

What about a New Year’s resolution to shop in a different supermarket, read a different paper, join a Facebook group who espouse a different view? Keep the lines and the mind open to different truths. Truth is one, but she has a thousand faces.

Readers who submit articles must agree to our terms of use. The content is the sole responsibility of the contributor and is unmoderated. But we will react if anything that breaks the rules comes to our attention. If you wish to complain about this article, contact us here