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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