Me + Internet = ♥

I remember the drive to the computer store with my dad when I was about 10 years old (I am young, the year was 1992).  We had just moved to North Carolina and my dad decided we were going to get a home computer.  I remember him and the store manager loading the computer into the backseat of our car.  It took up the entire Mercury Topaz’s backseat.  I also remember being so stoked about getting to ride up front because of it (my mother was a safety stickler to the height and weight rule for riding in the front).  When we got home my whole family crowded around my dad watching him assemble the great beast.  My brother was 3 years old at the time.  My dad had bought a sesame street ABC game on floppy disk for my brother to play.

My sister and I had used computers at school to play Oregon Trail and we were familiar with how to use them.  My brother picked it up instantly.  Within days he was turning it on and loading up his game to play all by himself.  My mother on the other hand had a bit more trouble.  My 3 year old brother was the one who actually taught her how to use the computer.

Eventually we got AOL and the familiar dial-up sound was constantly filtering through the house (god forbid if someone picked up the phone while you were online and knocked you off.  That meant all out war).  We all got our own email accounts and began to email our family in Canada and to “search the web”.

Fast forward 20 years and here I sit writing this blog post.  I am one of the kids who grew up on the border of the “wired generation“.  Technology wasn’t a part of my life when I was younger, but it slowly crept in during my teen years and over took in my early twenties.  I became addicted to my cell phone and texting.  I checked my MySpace account and then my Facebook at least once a day.  Now living overseas, I Skype with my friends and family all the time.  I have somehow survived without a cellphone for the past 3 years (shock!) and I have continued to never get bored while surfing the web.

One of my favorite quotes from The Office, Michael Scott says “When I discovered YouTube, I didn’t work for five days. I did nothing.”  Anytime I need to “kill time” I just get online.  When I come home from school and want to decompress I make myself a snack and browse my Pinterest.  Then I check my Facebook to see what my friends from home have been up to.  Then I go to my guilty pleasure gossip website to read about the lives of people I do not know.  From there I might do a little online browsing of some of my favorite clothing websites and eventually I will end up back on Pinterest or Epicurious to decide what I am making for dinner.

I cannot imagine my life without the web.  Anytime I have a question or I need something, I open the browser and get searching for my answer.

This video poses the question: When does loving the internet become an internet addiction?  Are YOU addicted?

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3 thoughts on “Me + Internet = ♥

  1. I think I’m around the same age as you, so my story sounds very similar to yours! I remember playing Oregon Trail, and even my first chat on ICQ! While I do not think I am addicted to the internet (I believe I could live without it for a little while… maybe?), I sometimes think about how much more I could accomplish in my days if I didn’t stare at my computer all day. I don’t even have a TV in my house but I still feel that I am staring at a screen all day – my communication, my entertainment, my organizational systems ALL involve the internet. I even ensure that I am “not wasting time” by using my iPhone whenever I am sitting in a cab or waiting at a doctors office. When I was in Myanmar, I went a bit stir crazy because I felt so disconnected. So maybe it has not gone as far as an addiction but I certainly see that if I were to put my life in a pie chart – a LOT of it would be dedicated to the internet. Can, and should that be fixed? Thanks for getting me thinking about it.

  2. I think being international educators adds another layer to it as well. We depend, at some point, on the connection. That allows us to give ourselves permission to get on Facebook to browse to stay in contact with the people and information we want. We make this excuse for ourselves time and time again.

    At the same time they want us connected, they want our attention and them make it easier and easier for us to connect.

    When does an addiction become a necessity? An addiction is something you can quit..but can you quit the web? Can you not bank online, not connect with family online? I’m not sure. That addiction part is a interesting one when that’s where we’re expected to be by society. Crazy world we live in for sure.

  3. Sure we spend ALOT of time using the Internet in some way or the other now but is that so wrong? It serves a human need which has been the same since the beginning of time- its just being answered in a different way and perhaps to a greater (global) extent with the Web. For example if we go back just a couple of generations- people connected with each other by going over to the neighbors house, then with the arrival of the telephone people connected and communicated over the phone lines ( I am young enough that I did not have the party line but old enough that I was ALWAYS in trouble for spending way too much time on the phone after school). As an adult the Internet is the way I connect (also because our phone system in Sumatra is terrible). Guess I feel that the Internet meets our social need to connect and communicate with others. If there is balance in life and the important things (family, health, work etc) are still priorities then should we worry so much about whether it is an addition or a necessity? Can it not just be a part of life- just another means to get something (thoughts, information, media, money) from point A to point B?

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