Monday, January 12, 2015

A Brief History of my Time on the Internet

We moved to a state I hated some years ago. It had north in the title for a reason. I survived the snow and ice by floating in a steaming garden tub like a lily pad and writing emails describing my garden tub lifestyle. In the beginning, I sent my emails to a couple of friends and some relatives.

One of those relatives sent an email back and said, “Quit sending me these damn silly emails.” That’s when I knew I was on to something.

My mission statement became: Block This! 

Over the years the email list grew and grew. Then MySpace was invented and someone said that I should get hip and get a Space that was mine, but I heard that MySpace was just a bunch of teenagers hiding out from their parents and complaining. 

Sure. Sure. I complained a lot in my emails, but I tried to keep it highbrow grousing and not ‘he said, she said’ whining. I mean . . . I wrote about real problems like Japanese beetle infestations and cabin fever crimes of passion. 

Then someone said that I should have a website, write a book, run some ads, and cash in. “Even the terrorists have websites,” they said. 

I looked at my computer, flipped it on and then flipped it off and thought, “I need to find some terrorists to help me get a website.” Three years later, I fired my IT staff (my computer analyzing husband) and tracked down a do-it-yourself website for making websites.

Then I was told that I should have a blog, since weekly emails sent to a trillion people really qualified as spam. Groaning, I went into blog mode. Too late. By the time I was blogging the mere mention of the words blog or blogging made people hunker down inside their hoodies and pretend to be reading their texts or looking at Bonsai kittens grown in bottles.

Okay. Now it’s Twitter and Instagramming and Linked In and Createspace and Smashwords and . . . everything needs to be connected to your dazzling hand held Fancy Phone and . . .

I traded in my old obsolete phone for a new dazzle phone and the lovely young man at the Fancy Phone Hut checked my data and said, “Well, you have ten catrillion super bytes available to you, and you’re using ONE.” He snickered. My IT staff (my computer analyzing husband) laughed right out loud. I fired him again. 

But I keep right on writing those “damn silly emails,” once and twice a week for sixteen years, and navigating every single learning curve thrown at me by technology and the Internet. Why?

Because talking to myself gets old; that’s why.

Linda (Block On) Zern 

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