Death of the village
Part of my family moved to the village of Hodnet, Shropshire about 75 years ago and as a result, it's a place that I've visited frequently during my life. Hodnet used to be a village community – a church, pub, gas station and a core of shops for food and other necessities. It was an active village in the midst of a mostly farming community.
Hodnet sat on a busy road between Shrewsbury and Market Drayton – the road was narrow even by UK standards and in places, very accident-prone especially dealing with all the heavy trucks. The County Council talked for years about making a new road around the village – the "Bypass". Finally, about 8 years ago, the Bypass was built and peace descended on the village.
Unfortunately, the peace brought by the Bypass also accelerated the decline of the village's stores. The village had slowly declined in population as young people chose to move away rather than following their families into farming. The Bypass removed traffic passing through and the business that it brought from travelers.
The decline of Hodnet coupled with my forced loss of connectivity to the Internet, drew a parallel for me. Just as the Bypass has led to the decline of the village, those people and businesses not connected to the Internet are being bypassed and becoming less accessible.
It's sad in both cases… We can work to eliminate the digital divide but the long term fate of Hodnet is uncertain