Saturday, May 21, 2011

WWW. We go Way Way back.

Some people find it strange that the internet plays such a big part in my life. But they don't understand the internet like I do. (I've got your back, internet!) He and I go way back. I basically have been BFFs with the internet since 1996ish. And before that I was all over Mr. Computer too. Lemme tell you a story.

Mr. Computer and I were introduced in 6th grade. Well, I lie. I had been using computers in school since 1st grade, but I think anything before Windows doesn't count. Let's be serious. So, when Windows made it's way to my classroom in 6th grade, our teacher thought it was important to begin getting us acquainted with using a mouse and using Windows. Since my last name was at the very beginning of the alphabet, I was in the first foursome of students that got to try it out. (This was lucky for me because she never continued on with the rest of the class!) Our lesson that day was to open up Microsoft Paint and write our names on the screen using a mouse! Oh, teach! You expect so much from us! Anyways, this is when my love affair began even though I'm sure my first assignment looked something like this:
but worse, I'm sure.
From there, Santa brought us a home PC soon thereafter and I spent several years playing Solitaire and other software games that came with the PC. (Yes, came WITH it! Crazy, right?)

But one cold, December night in 1996, my best friend and I had had enough phone chatting. We needed more social interaction and we knew just the way to get it. We promptly hung up the phone and ran to ask our parent's permission.


We'd only been getting the AOL CDs in the mail and with the newspaper every week for months on end. We figured it was time to see what this was all about. Both sets of parents willingly gave out permission and credit cards and we were set to go. I haven't been without it since.

The first few years of our relationship I'd categorize as "The Chat Years." The sole purpose of using the internet was to instant message my friends, chat in random chat rooms, and listen for that lovely, "You've Got Mail" sound each time I logged on. Getting kicked off was commonplace. In the summers I'd stay up really late chatting with my friends for hours because this was the only time that it didn't matter if I tied up our only phone line. There was also an occasional game thrown in, such as Slinko. Remember that one?

After I turned 18, I entered the next phase of my internetting. I'll call this phase as the "Barely Legal" years. You can use your imagination to figure out what I did for those years. The introduction of the webcam was a major turning point here.


JUST JOKES! (Mama, please sit down and let your face return to its natural color.)

Anyways, where were we? Ah yes, let's continue....

The next few years we'll call "The Research Years". I was in college and was really beginning to see just how much information the WWW had to offer me. Very factual information of course. This was clearly before the internet became flooded with misinformation. You could quote any random website in your bibliography for your paper and it was considered a fact. No questions asked. Towards the end of college they began requesting information only be taken from scholarly digital libraries and such. Such party poopers. Because I know it says right here that the world is going to end in a few hours and I believe it because I believe everything I read on the internet.

I became the fact-looker-upper for my family. They all knew that I could get them whatever information they needed, so they'd just make a mental list of whatever they needed to know and give it to me to figure out for them. I still have this role with my parents and I love being able to help!

Which brings us to today's era. "The Look-At-Me, Look-At-Me, My Entire Life is Playing Out on the Internet For You to See, and I'd Love It If You'd Give Me Some Attention Please" phase. This one is so right up my alley that I don't know if I'll ever outgrow it.


We started with MySpace (because we were out of college and you had to have a college email address to get a Facebook). Then came blogs. Message Boards. Online Gaming. And finally when Facebook revised their joining requirements, came Facebook - the godfather to all social networking. There are picture sharing sites, and tweet-sharing sites (I'm not really on board with that one.) Consumer reviews out the wazoo. And people sitting at their desks on a beautiful Saturday afternoon blogging instead of out enjoying the weather. Oh, maybe that last one is just me.

But regardless, I belong here. Each piece of feedback I receive, whether in person or online, fills my social-networking-loving heart up that much more. I may like some of my online buddies more than some of my own siblings! (There's 3 of them, and they'll each think it's not them that I'm referring to so I'll be safe by telling you that!)

Regardless, I'm glad we met, me and the WWW. He completes my life in a way that only he can. I mean, who else can suck so much life out of me on a daily basis? The WWW on my phone on the commute. The WWW on the computer during the workday. The phone on the commute home. The computer once I get home. And then one last check of the phone once I'm in bed. And who couldn't love something like that?

10 Bonus points to anyone who can tell me what website I'm on!


Shell said...

The bump! The colors looks like it anyway...

The Mrs. said...


Lacey said...

10 points to each of you! You can cash in your points in the Life of Lacey treasure box on a cool plastic spider ring or save up your points for something really great like a blow up armchair. Congrats!

Jeff said...

I have the same history with the world wide web. I remember messing around with MSDos and then when my dad got a computer that had Windows 3.1 I thought the mouse was the most amazing invention ever.

Today, I don't go anywhere without being connected. My wife wants to take a vacation where we don't bring a laptop or phone and I always ask her "why would I want to do that?" I'm definitely addicted.

MillerMama said...

I remember getting my first email address my senior year of high school. And then I discovered AIM when I got to college...and the rest was all downhill from there!