The Internet

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.

The Internet expanded our world so we need not be sitting next to one another to have a conversation.

The Internet expanded our world so we need not be sitting next to one another to have a conversation.

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.

She lives on a farm with goats.

She lives on a farm with goats.

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.

The pottery studio

The pottery studio

 

Sometimes I want to go back in time and just bop myself on the head.

 

 

This entry was posted in Essay, Friendship, Memories, Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

16 Responses to The Internet

  1. K C Eames says:

    I would be the person standing next to you with my own personalized head bopper.

  2. Gary Holmes says:

    Great story and anecdote. I can’t help but wonder, though, about the cousin-in-law with the top-secret security clearance drunkenly showing off new DoD’s new technology. Was he Edward Snowden?

  3. maesprose says:

    CW is no longer part of the family. Divorce does that. When I wrote this it made me realize the show The American’s is not far off. I’m hoping security is a bit tighter these days.

  4. marydpierce says:

    I love the internet! I hate the internet! I feel that way most days. It’s the biggest reason for the dust on those tap shoes of mine.

    Your story made me laugh and nod in agreement.

  5. Don Ostertag says:

    I bought my first computer, an Apple 2 Plus, around 1980. While I loved computers, I thought like you, the Internet was something I would never be interested in. But when I was 10 years old, I thought girls were icky.You just live and learn.

  6. LB says:

    You’ve made me laugh! and while you bop yourself on the head, you can bop the rest of us, too!

  7. Everyone who lived during that time probably felt the same as you. I personally thought it sounded kind of far fetched and couldn’t imagine what use it could be, but my first desk job in 1992, I was 42 then, and I soon changed my mind in a big way. Of course they had computers, but the company I worked for was just beginning to add the Internet as a useful tool and I couldn’t believe how quickly I fell in love with it. Now I look back and I can’t believe how much it’s changed and grown. It’s just amazing. But in the beginning I doubt if anyone, except for those people who created it, saw it as anything more than a passing fad.

  8. nancyspoint says:

    Hi Mae,
    You’re such a great storyteller. I was wondering what happened to CW too. Guess now I know. Well, as you might guess, my life is pretty much ruled by the internet too. Not really of course, but I do spend an enormous amount of time ‘there’… And I admit it, one of the first things I do each morning when I get up and each night before going to bed is to check on things ‘out there’. And as for the old friendships, well, I’ve connected with some old friends, too, via the internet. It’s nice to reconnect without having to actually get together in person. Does that sound bad? And I love all my new online friends more than I ever could have imagined. Thanks for the post!

    • maesprose says:

      I do love my online friends too and reconnecting with others but not in person. So, if you’re looking for approval I don’t think it’s bad at all!

  9. LB says:

    Hi Mae – just checking in! All good? I’m hoping your relative silence (2 weeks is long for you) means that you are on vacation. Just letting you know I’m thinking of you!

    • maesprose says:

      All is good! I’m away on vacation where there is limited access to the Internet. Good and bad as the above notes! I’ll be back Sunday.! Thanks for checking in on me.

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