Last night while going through, "stuff" for my spring cleaning, I came across two personal phone books from the 1980's and early 1990's.
"Wow!" I said to myself, (because I talk to myself all the time now in my old age) "You sure had lots of friends in those days. You really were a social butterfly." Then I came up with the idea of searching for these old friends online. I wanted to find them on Facebook, Myspace, Twitter, or YouTube! Surely my long lost friends would be as excited about the Internet as I am. Starting with the A's, I methodically went through each and every name written in my books. With hope, I typed each name into the search bar on Facebook. Little by little my hope was beginning to vanish, then, all of a sudden, voila! I found a friend! Jim. He was there, right there for all the world to see. I was so excited. I quickly sent him a message. "Are you who I think you are?" What a dumb message, but I didn't want to be presumptuous. There was always the chance he wasn't who I thought he was. I mean, how many Jim B_____'s are there in the world, and this is the WORLD WIDE WEB of course. So, I quickly moved on to the C's and D's and E's and finally got to the Z's in the second phone book. Now let me tell you, each phone book was filled to the brim. I mean there wasn't one empty line in either book!
Well, I was somewhat disappointed because out of two entire phone books, I found just this one person. Not to diminish the fact that I found Jim, because that is a very big deal for me. To see him now, in his future and see how well he's doing in the world. To see how he looks as a mature man and learn what he's been doing with his life. All these things are important to me and I am very grateful to have found him. The thing is, what the hell has happened to the other 999 people in those books? Where have they all gone? What are they doing with their lives? What do they look like now? Are they dead? Or just dead to the Internet?
Pondering those questions all night long, I came to the conclusion that most people my age do not use the Internet. Perhaps they don't know how, don't have a computer, choose to remain anonymous, fear it or just don't want to get involved in this extremely wonderful technology. Myself, I could not live without it. My computer is my best friend because it keeps me linked to the world, the information highway and all my new friends I have met here in cyber space. My conclusion saddens me deeply as I'd really love to keep in touch with many of the souls I've connected with in my past. Many of you know my affinity for nostalgia. I had planned to throw out the phone books, along with all the other little tidbits of paraphernalia I've collected over the years. However, I think I'll hang onto the books and do another search in a few years. Maybe some of those people will come out of their shells and poke their little heads into cyberspace at some point in their lives.
Some of the 3D friends with whom I still have connections, do not use the Internet, don't even know how to email someone, don't know a download from an upload, and could care less how many GB's or MB's are on their computers. The only reason they have a computer is because their children or their children's children need one for school. My 3D friends think I am amazing because I know so much about the computer and the Internet. (and secretly, I enjoy this attention) I blog, I vlog, I twitter and tweet. I'm on MySpace and Ning and I'm a Deviant Artist to beat. I've been on YouTube since before it became famous. I even have an online store at etsy where I sell my works. http://www.dalidepot.etsy.com/ . (shameless plug) I've offered to help my 3D's learn some basic computer skills, but most show no interest whatsoever. They just don't quite understand my obsession.
I don't know everything about computers or the Internet nor many of the new sites that continue to arise. However, the difference is that I am willing to learn, in fact, yearning to learn. I want to know everything. I wanna be a geek. It is a challenge to learn how to navigate each new web site I join and equally challenging is remembering all my different passwords. I do have most of them written down of course , but I try to log on to all the sites without that crutch. I think it helps my to exercise my brain daily.
Surfing the net helps me connect to the world. There is so much to learn every single day. When I hear a news snippet on t.v., I find the newscaster never gives quite enough information, so I run straight away to the computer to Google a search. I have a thirst for knowledge that cannot be quenched by a 30 second spot on the nightly news. Thank God for Bill Gates and his buddies!
Oh yeah, and this blog wouldn't be complete if I didn't confess my Internet paranoia. Sometimes I think I am the skitziest person online. Yes, I worry about computer viruses and Big Brother watching, probably more than most. I am not so much afraid of Big Brother because I don't think I do anything wrong or anything that "they" would care about. But who knows? More and more of our freedoms in America are being taken away every day. Freedom of speech may soon become obsolete, so I'm getting mine in while I still can. Those nasty viruses scare me the most. Because who on earth would I be without my computer? Just an old woman stuck in 3D land. Now that would certainly be an atrocity!