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The internet is by far the best time waster around, unless you prefer video games and televison. I spend a lot of time on the intrenet, like you researching anyone I can think of, any ailment anyone I know has, might have or might get. I am a former computer programmer & web master(glad to leave that behind). I met my husband on Match.com before it was the "meat market" of today. I have a myspace (or momspace) page, which makes me feel like I am in high school, I am a youtube junkie too. It's put me in touch with people I have missed dearly and people I cant seem to get away from no matter what. I even do my grocery shopping online now. A drawback of the interent is that the generation up and coming do not have any idea of social graces, professional communication skills are completely lost, and the elders are locked out. Maybe we'll see a swing away from all those "old school" practices?


I too am a bit obsessed with information - yet I don't think I make the best use of the internet. A lot of my friendships are maintained by email as I live in another state that my family and most of my friends - yet I haven't started a myspace page or anything like that yet. I mean, starting a blog last year was a huuuuuge thing for me!!! I read my blogs online, do all of our internet banking, research all the usual as you do - travel, weather, but I've never actually googled any of my old school friends! I need to work on my inner stalker!


My parents were actually pretty hip back in the day. We went online in 1992 or 1993 when I was 14/15 years old, but we didn't have the internet, only AOL. Back in the day AOL gave you the option of whether or not you wanted that thing called "THE INTERNET". I desperately wanted it, but was still rather happy with my AOL chat rooms, which enabled me to meet people that I would write letters and send pictures to via snail mail. I can't believe I just wrote "snail mail".

Initially, we had dialup for which you were charged by the hour. I was grounded numerous times for running up huge AOL bills due to being online four 5-6 hours on end. The day my parents got unlimited access was one of the best days of my life. You seriously have no idea how very overjoyed I was. Not as overjoyed as I was the day we actually got "THE INTERNET", but close.

Ever since then I have been an addict. I get the shakes and paranoia if I'm told I will be away from internet access for more than a handful of hours. Even more pathetic is the fact that if we have a day out and aren't home all day, I feel like I have to go online and check the news because loads could have happened in that 7-8 hours I've not been near a computer.

I need help, clearly.


I think I blogged before blogging had a name...or much of a purpose, for that matter. I was inspired by a writer on a site called OpenDiary.com, and so began my Internet (I still cap it, but I'm old school, I think) journaling. It was a writer's dream...writing for the public under an assumed name (that I assumed kept me "safe") and getting feedback and encouragement. Plus, reading OD--as we reglar diarists called it-- satisfied my voyeuristic tendencies (judge not, lest I remind you of your stalking tendencies).

But all of that came after my first Internet job...a job that still holds a fond place in my heart. I mean, I got to write! I got to write and have it published online for the world to see! Okay, so it was copywriting with no byline, but I got to create ads for online games, legitimately call Web surfing "research", write everything from advice columns to contest questions to articles on tai chi! I even got to record voice-overs that can still be heard today, online! I was riding the upswing of the Dot.com wave in an office where the boss kept a box of toys for inspiration and I got to wear JEANS on a regular basis! Life was good.

Then came the day I googled myself and discovered some of my REAL writing posted online! Book reviews for the world to see. With my byline!!

And like you, I got back in touch with my best friend from high school, who I hadn't seen in 6 years, once I tracked her father down online. Six years later our lives remained parallel in many ways.

And yet, until now, I don't think I really realized how much the Internet affected my life. And positively. Thanks for your great post, and for the inspiration!

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