Welcome Back, Blogger!  

Posted by Jonathan E Johns

I've recently been re-connected to the Internet, and thought I'd share some thoughts on both that experience, and the time I spent dis-connected.

In my lifetime, I have witnessed much. When I was born, we had not yet walked on the moon. This is interesting, that I choose this event as a capstone event in my life, interesting because in the lives of many, this event is a non-event. Although I was a toddler at the time the space-race occurred, during my formative years it was a defining event. My toys, television shows, and mass media all had a taste of the space race and I grew up with it all around me. My son was born before the Information Superhighway was really built and in effect, but I am sure it will be a defining moment throughout his life as the space race was with mine.

I heard about the Internet the way most people heard about it, from the then Vice-President, Al Gore, describing an Information Super-Highway transporting Information, Commerce, and Entertainment across the world, and into our homes. Cell-Phone Technology at the time was not well developed, and I don't think many folks envisioned watching Television on their phones, let alone, watching You-Tube videos, then posting comments to their Facebook page from their phones.

I was soon enamored with the idea of connecting to the rest of the world, and soon purchased some cruddy Computer-related magazine, simply because it came with a free 1.44MB diskette attached with a free membership to COMPUSERVE. I used a computer in my home to connect to the Internet for as little as $9.95 per month, and $.10 per minute, and 'surfed' whatever I could find. It was mostly porn and adverts, with a few creepy chatrooms here and there, and when the membership dwindled, I switched to America Online. Not much cheaper, but hundreds of thousands of more people in the creepy chatrooms. And actually a lot more content.

A few years later, I built my first computer, I got a DSL line, and I got real access to the internet, and since then, I have been connected with E-mail, chatrooms, bulletin boards, and everything else. I have 'had a presence' on the internet, and until recently, been connected either daily, or at least 5 times per week.

So, being disconnected has been an experience.

I didn't spend my time 'doing better things', or spending more time with family and friends, or 'getting outside' more often. When I was connected before, I spent more time being connected with friends and family, I actually had more time to spend 'in real life' with people, and outside, and I felt, well, more informed. Being without the connection left me feeling disconnected with the world. More alone, less expressive, out of touch, ill-informed, and the time I spent going to public libraries to get a short connection felt like a waste of time.

Some folks I know were talking about giving up technology for lent. I thought about that, and wondered what they do with their technology that makes them feel it is a wasteful thing that they should give up? I suppose online gambling, shopping, and dumb surfing is a waste of time, but I spend my time online connecting with people, and giving that up seems like something bad to do for lent.

As my finances ebb and flow, I may be disconnected again in the future, and have to revert to accessing the Internet from free public sources again. But while I am reconnected for now, I will enjoy my connection with the outside world, and feel less as if I am trapped on a deserted island, and more like I am part of something bigger, better, and more involved, and informed.

It's good to be back.

This entry was posted on Monday, March 16, 2009 at 2:42 PM . You can follow any responses to this entry through the comments feed .


...it's good to *have* you back.

March 26, 2009 at 2:20 PM

Post a Comment