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The first crush came with excitement, butterflies in my stomach and a non-troubling lack of sleep. Suddenly I had a new reason to live. A reason to rush home from school, just to see you. My Internet, you gave me hope that a new, better phase of my life was arriving. A life that wouldn’t be lonely. For as long as you were willing to notice me, to welcome me into your world and give me that sense of belonging, as long as I knew that you weren’t ashamed to be associated with me, then what more did I need?
But I wasn’t good enough was I? Oh yes, the resentment grew. Why did I have to bow to your demands, turning my back on my old hobbies just to make you feel loved? Living my life at your pace, first painfully slow, then suddenly so fast I could barely breathe. Trapped in and swept away, before I was really old enough to understand what was going on.
You were so kind to me, introducing me to so many new friends, who helped me through the hard times with a , a *hug* or a “Hey hun, so glad you’re on-line.” After so many years, it was so nice to be able to un-bottle my feelings, without having to put on an act or show, without having to fit to the norms of my old world. We laughed together, cried together, grew older together, and I felt wanted.
But real friendship means nothing to you, does it Internet? So long as 283 people are “poking” you on a daily basis, you don’t care how many of them have fake names, how many of them could tell you my deepest darkest secrets, how m— wait, deepest darkest secrets? Who I am kidding? You don’t care if “friends” don’t even know each others real ages.
Oh Internet, you took me from my small, unambitious educational arena of twenty-year-old textbooks, and opened my eyes to a fountain of knowledge. I felt freedom, I felt alive, I felt empowered. Earthly lovers would teach me only of their favourite television shows, yet you taught me how to learn. Every, “I wonder,” could be solved, from the artist of that 1960’s song on the radio, to the enrolling on an entire on-line degree programme. And you didn’t even ask for much money in return.
But freedom comes at a price. Like any other lover, you led me on. The offers did turn out to be too good to be true. For as much as you’ve opened my mind, it will be my trusty handbooks that I take into my Open University exams, not a memory stick (what was wrong with floppy disks anyway – am I to be cast aside in such a manner?). And why do you keep providing me with conversion tables, spell-checkers and translators? I’m losing skills at an unimaginable rate. Or is that part of your plan, to dumb me down into a dependent addict?
Our travels were amazing. No tense trips with in-laws. No uncomfortable first nights together. No, we saw the world. Landscapes and lakes, museums and monuments, concerts, cruises and cafés, all whilst I could run a business and study at university. I was so grateful that I met you at such a young age, and became inspired, never to settle in one place for long.
But already in my mid-twenties, you’re making me feel old. I used to go to libraries and Internet cafés, then that wasn’t swish enough for you any more. Like the secondary school students I teach, who always need designer labels, you had to keep updating, setting new trends, and as a faithful lover, I had to keep up. First it was a laptop with a W-LAN stick, then a notebook with a built-in chip, and now you often refuse to even talk to me because I don’t want to get a, “tablet,” or, “smart-phone.” I always wanted to do my bit for the environment, to reduce, re-use and recycle, but here I am, feeling inadequate for even considering not giving in on this one, and consuming, again and again.
You made me feel connected, and gave me a sense of how many others there are in my world.
But when I want to appreciate the sunrise, or gaze over the mountains, I see my fellow humans glued to their electronic devices; I feel so lonely.
I thought our romance would never turn sour.
But you’re cheating on me Internet. I know it. And that’s why it’s your fault that I can’t trust anyone any more. I know you spy on me, looking to see what I glance at as I take a quick coffee break. And you tell them. They’re coming for me one day. And you don’t care. You just try to curb my paranoia by showing me some shoes you think I’d like, trying to buy me off with material goods. Invading my privacy. Do they know my bank details? Do they know which party I vote for? Do they know the tale I told in that personal e-mail two and a half years ago?
I don’t know exactly what they know.
But I do know, Internet, that when I met you at the age of thirteen, I did not sign up for this.
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Long ago, when the internet was in its infancy, I became deeply involved with the chat room scene which was very popular at that time. I found it to be an amazing experience on several levels. I eventually focused on one chat room website which was very popular back then. I could tell you of experiences which took place there which were outrageously humorous and others which were profoundly moving. A total of six marriages were spawned from that chatsite, several involving chatters from different countries.
Writing anything which has to do with the internet can be very difficult, but I once had the idea of writing a novel based upon a chat room. The premise would be structured such that on the left hand side of the page would be the actual chat room discussion, and on the right hand side would be a description of what was going on in each chatter's "real world". The idea would be to show how the events happening in the real world affected the chatter's personality and discussions in the chat room. I didn't pursue it because I figured someone was probably already doing it ... but so far no one ever has. The closest anyone has come to this was the movie, You've Got Mail staring Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan.
― Steven Wright
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My advice - remove a lot - focus and think which are your strong lines.
"But you’re cheating on me Internet. I know it. And that’s why it’s your fault that I can’t trust anyone any more. I know you spy on me, looking to see what I glance at as I take a quick coffee break. And you tell them. They’re coming for me one day. And you don’t care. You just try to curb my paranoia by showing me some shoes you think I’d like, trying to buy me off with material goods. Invading my privacy. Do they know my bank details? Do they know which party I vote for? Do they know the tale I told in that personal e-mail two and a half years ago?
I don’t know exactly what they know.
But I do know, Internet, that when I met you at the age of thirteen, I did not sign up for this."