Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Internet

Yes, yes, the Internet.  Out of all the inventions in my lifetime, including  television, the Internet has changed my life more than anything else.  Don't get me wrong. I'm not degrading  placing a man on the moon, cell phones that do everything but clean your toilet, or even the electric toothbrush,but nothing else has affected my daily living as much as that incredibly mystifying, unfathomable, amorphous form of communication called the Internet.

We take for granted "www," but stop and think of what it means - world wide web.  We thought TV made our world smaller but consider the web.  I'm sure glad Al Gore came up with this little idea.  We can see, hear and talk with anybody in any place on this planet,  if they have the right software and hardware.  Hardware used to be a store full of tools.  Our language has changed; web was something spiders weaved or that small piece of leather in a baseball glove. Our breadth of knowledge has increased. Our understanding of  other cultures is now more focused.  So this is all great, right?

As I mentioned, the Internet now dictates how my day is spent.  After being helped out of bed, one of the first actions of my day is turning on my computer.  This is before shaving, breakfast or brushing my remaining tooth -- the reason Gal Friday refers to me as "Fang".  One may wonder why I don't get upset by this dubious moniker but it's better than a lot of other things she calls me.  I check out my Inbox, Facebook, Twitter, my blog for comments and then I'm ready for my first nap.  Sometimes I miss breakfast.

It's rather amusing learning about all the correct variables in life like what to eat, what exercise is best for you, what car to buy, how to build a bomb -- you know simple activities of daily living.  But the next day can be a little confusing when you receive information contradicting yesterday's pearls of wisdom.

As a writer with a pea-size brain, I have to rely on the Internet for much of my research.  This can get real interesting.  Did you ever feel like a rat in a maze?  There is so much conflicting information on the web you begin to doubt it all.  I try to determine the validity of information by using fact-finding sites, but then I read on the Internet they aren't truly factual, but lean to certain points of view.  And how can politicians quote the same statistics and come out with dfferent numbers?  If it's on the ole "www," it's possible -- anything is possible.

I fought against buying a computer for years, but when I finally went "on line", I quickly realized I had struck gold.  I was like a naive kid checking out all kinds of web sites, some I'm too embarassed to mention.  I couldn't believe all this information was at my rigid digits.  Then I discovered email. And then came spam and hackers.

I recive 30 to 50 emails a day; some are humorous, some informative, but most are pretty much a waste of time.  Here's my conundrum; I can't resist looking at every email in hopes the sender is transmitting something worth reading like getting a personal letter delivered by our postal service.  You do remember letters, don't you?  Try to remember 'cause the old US Post Office isn't going to be around much longer.  Instead I'm inundated with recycled jokes, pictures of naked women, religious musings and political tripe.  Of course, I also get a few requests to send money to some poor shmuck  in Africa or the Middle East who will then send me a couple of million for my effort.

My problem is because I read each email, I spend countless hours at my computer instead of doing something constructive -- like napping.  So email can be a heartwarming friend or a time-stealing foe.  Hey, that's just like the Internet.

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