“I remember when the internet was invented.”
That’s what I will say to my grandkids someday. They’ll either be in awe of how long I lived or bored with their grandma talking about the “good old days.” But as Billy Joel says, the good old days weren’t always good and tomorrow ain’t as bad as it seems.
Before the internet. Can you remember such a time? Back in junior high/high school, if I wanted to talk to my friends, I actually had to call them. I spent many hours in the phone in junior high. I hate talking on the phone now. It’s too awkward for me. On the internet, I have time to collect my thoughts, write something intelligent in response, and therefore seem infinitely cooler and smarter.
I love instant messenger. Sometimes it’s the only way my husband and I can talk. He can’t spend all day on the phone with me while he’s at work, but he can reply by instant messenger at his convenience. It’s great. We’ve had many a deep conversation on IM. We’ve also fought on IM. And made up on IM. And expressed our heart-felt love over IM. Yes, part of our relationship has been in cyberspace, but it’s still real. Because we say and do all those things (and more) in real life that we do on IM.
If I want to know something about anything, I go to the internet. If I’m curious about a reference in a book I read, I google it. This is much faster and easier and better than spending hours in a library to get just one reference. So I can only conclude that the internet has made me smarter. Also when my Mom told me the doctors found a large tumor on the tail-end of her pancreas, I immediately went to google. The things I read there were horrifying. But it helped me come to terms with my Mother’s inevitable death a lot sooner than some others in my family who refused to learn anything about pancreatic cancer at all. Knowledge is powerful, and having that knowledge helped me to come to terms with things, get over the denial phase of my grief, so that I could be there for my Mom in the last days of her life fully cognizant of what we were all going to face soon enough.
The internet has also been a wonderful way for me to keep in touch with my friends. I love email. My friend Kari always says she addicted to email. So am I! No more writing a letter and waiting weeks for a response. This has been wonderful for my best friend and I. We have spent the last 12 years living on opposite sides of the country. Yet, we still talk almost daily due to email. It’s great. We’ve been able to maintain a friendship after high school with the odds against us due to the internet. That’s not all. When my sister was going to Duke Law School, we kept in touch via email. We still do. And we IM more than we talk in person. Not only that, but when my brother was on his mission in Mexico, I wrote him an email every week. It made him seem not so far away. And the two years went by a lot faster knowing he was just an email away.
A year and a half ago, my aforementioned best friend, introduced me to a social networking site called Facebook. Everyone has facebook now. For months I only had less than 10 friends and hardly ever went on. Then all of my friends started joining. Then family. Now it’s a great way to keep in touch with long lost friends and family members. It’s a wonderful way to get to know people. And it’s about one of my only social outlets that doesn’t require me to pay a babysitter or leave my husband at home while I go out.
Blogs are a great invention. After graduating from college, I no longer had an outlet for all the creative things I wanted to write. Ta da! Here’s my blog. It can be therapeutic and creatively stimulating. It’s also allowed me to become friends with people I would have never known. It’s allowed me to share my life with people in a way I never could have before. Blogs have also allowed me to gain access to different people and perspectives I would have never known. The R House blog lets me into the world of an adoptive mother. Something that is very important for an Adoption caseworker like myself. Clients don’t always let you in to see what it’s really like because they’re afraid you won’t give them a baby. This is far from the truth in my case. Besides, its the birthmothers that give them a baby. I just do the paperwork and I let Heavenly Father take care of the rest.
So this is a shout out to all my e-friends and real friends, who are also e-friends, out there. You have enriched my life by opening up a world to me, that without the internet, I would have never been privvy to. Thank you.