My cousin was married to a computer wiz who we will call CW. He worked on top-secret defense projects. This was back in the early 90′s and I’m not sure we should have even known what he did. One night a number of us were out and we drank a lot. You know what happens when alcohol flows freely. The subject of the Internet came up and CW couldn’t stop talking about it. I had no idea what the Internet was or how it could be used. CW was passionate about it and decided to sneak us into his office and show us the Internet once and for all. He brought us through the back door of his office building and we stumbled around in the dimly lit hallways not daring to put any lights on to draw attention to ourselves. We were beyond tipsy so I’m not really sure how clearly any of us were thinking. I do remember standing there in the dark peering over his shoulder as I looked at the computer screen.
“I don’t see how I would find any use for this in my life.”
I actually muttered those words out loud with full conviction.
Flash forward twenty years to this past weekend. I changed Internet providers and things went badly. I was back in the “non communicative” early 90′s for two days and was ready to quit the human race by Sunday. My voice hit a pitch that makes dogs howl and technicians cringe. As it turns out, my entire life is ruled by the Internet. I don’t know how that even happened.
Before disaster struck I finally met up with an old friend last week. We hadn’t spoken for four years and hadn’t seen one another in 10. We hit what you might consider “low tide” in our friendship and there was a natural drifting apart. A Christmas card here or there and then silence. Back in the 90′s, that silence probably would have stuck but in the age of the Internet silence is a hard thing to keep. A late night “I wonder what happened to….” and the next thing you know there that person is on your computer screen. A friend request came over Facebook and I accepted. A few months later, an invitation to stop by in my travels.
The funny thing about old friends is the shared interests continue. We met up for dinner and 7 hours flew by in a blink of an eye. We were never at a loss for conversation. The past decade hasn’t been completely kind to either of us. Yet, there was a lot of laughter in the telling of our tales. Of course, it was not lost on me that the Internet is what reconnected us.
Sometimes I want to go back in time and just bop myself on the head.