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Why the internet is awesome

I remember the first time I used the internet - a group of us huddled around a computer at a schoolfriend's house, listening to the sound of dial-up and the contrasting silence of our collective anticipation as to what exactly we were going to do once it connected. When we got the internet at home ourselves a few months later I felt that a whole new world had opened up to me, and there was no better sound than the AOL 'You've Got Mail' sound alongside a flashing yellow envelope (I realise that I am probably far too old for many of you to also remember that!) I grew up finding friends via AOL profiles, making newsletters, chatting in Yahoo chat rooms (A/S/L anyone?), downloading music on Napster, building webpages on Geocities and writing blog posts on LiveJournal and Xanga.  To be completely honest with you, I didn't have masses of friends at school (I know, looo-oooserrrr), so I found myself rushing home to write newsletters I could send to groups of friends on AOL, or writing on my Xanga blog.  I guess not much has changed!

img credit: memoryglands.com

The truth is that it's difficult to imagine life without the internet now.  We take it for granted in so many ways, and in a way I'm glad that I lived, even only for a little while at an age where I was old enough to understand it, in a world where it didn't exist.  In a world where to look up a word for an essay I had to drag the Oxford English Dictionary off the shelf (or go to the library to get a book out to do research), in a world where if you wanted to see a friend you'd ride round to their house and knock on the door, or where if you wanted to phone a shop or restaurant you had to look them up in the Yellow Pages.  

Of course my nostalgia for what was probably a 'simpler' time, doesn't mean I don't have immense appreciation for the innumerable ways that the internet has made our lives better (or a raging Twitter addiction).  Barely a day goes by when I don't praise the internet for a way it has made my life easier or... well, better.  Today I got in the car to go to a running shop when I had no idea where it was or how to get there, knowing that I could Google it en route (I was a passenger by the way!) and look at it on Google Maps.  Last weekend my friend and I went to a burger joint where they take your name and number and then text you a link where you can see where you are in the queue until it eventually sends an automated text to let you know your table is ready (this blew my mind).  I do my food shopping online, my clothes shopping online, I never book a holiday without checking Trip Advisor, or buy any beauty or skincare product without reading blog reviews.  I really do do almost all of my shopping online, whiling away hours on ASOS, watching the catwalk videos to see how something will fit, hunting for bargains on eBay and making impulse online purchases based on getting wardrobe envy over other fashion blooggers.  I dislike the hustle and bustle of the British high street, or the fact that it's almost impossible to find what you're looking for (and when you do, you then find out it was cheaper on the internet).

And let's not forget the fact that I basically live my life online via my blog, instagram and Twitter - I instagram my meals, tweet my runs, blog my outfits, track my calorie intake, put my holiday photos on Facebook and generally share an awful lot of details of my life on the internet.  In fact, by the Rosie bum indent on my office chair, the collection of teacups on my desk and the fact that I almost never watch television, I'd say that I spend an awful lot of time cruising around the world wide web.


img credit: 9gag.com
I sometimes feel slightly guilty at the amount of time I spend on the internet.  When I see the pile of dog toys under my office chair and Bodhi doing his puppy dog eyes at me from the hall, when Tom and I spend an evening in different rooms (he is a telly addict and I am an internet addict!) or when my book goes unread for a few nights because I'm lying in bed doing the cycle of checking Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, then Twitter again.  On Valentine's Day we had an evening of no phones and no computer and it was really nice to escape for an evening, and of course, I didn't miss any tweets or emails that couldn't wait until the following morning.  I am promising myself that at least one evening a week I will try and switch off from the internet and enjoy a little 'me time' or have a date night.  But until then, I will be spending all my pennies on ASOS, tweeting what I've bought and blogging photos of me wearing it.  I just can't help myself....

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8 comments

  1. Always good to take a break, but I'm a fan of that cycle as well. (Also, VERY much remember ASL and the early days of dial up. Kids now don't know they're born!)

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  2. I think it's so hard not to fall into that cycle all the time, especially when there's that feeling that you might miss something. I feel so nostalgic remembering the strange sound that dial up made and the constant shouts from my mum to "get off the internet so I can use the phone!" We've definitely come a long way!

    Lisa | Wanderlust and Daydreams x

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  3. A/S/L - oh yep! The piercing sound of dial up, the fact that it would take 30 minutes to load up your email and if you opened more than one tab, the whole thing would crash completely. When I was at secondary school we had one computer lab (with 10 Macs) for 600+ pupils and no-one had even heard of the internet - jeez, I must sound old! :-) x

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  4. Haha, yes same for me. I got my first email address on excite.com in 2000 when I was 14 or something and it was incredible! Chatrooms were the big thing and I was only allowed on for half an hour a couple of times a week. How things have changed. I too am guilty of that cycle but I deleted my Facebook account recently which was so refreshing.
    Perhaps the internet has saved me from being a total loner. At least I'm married and have internet buddies now :D x

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  5. I was thinking about pre-internet days the other day. It makes me sad that my children will grow up surrounded by all this technology. I used to collect this weekly magazine "Find Out More" or something along those lines. It ended up as 8 huge encyclopedias. Must have cost my mum and dad about a grand LOL :)

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  6. I don't really remember the first time I used the Internet but I remember the times we didn't have it. I actually got my first computer when I was 12 and I got Internet even later. It's so strange to imagine the world without Internet when have the chance to take it for granted every day of our lives. I spend way too much time surfing the net but I love it so much!

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  7. I won't have any wifi or phone signal in the barn in Dorset next week, how will I survive Rosie!?!! xxx

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  8. Oh my goodness I love this post! I too am off an age where I remember the "simpler" time which I think makes me appreciate the internet more. Great post and fabulous blog

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