It's Taking Over

| Thursday, May 20

"There's a demon in the Internet." - Rupert Giles

Last week, I was watching Buffy, as I often do when I need to destress. This particular line from the episode I was watching, "I, Robot...You, Jane," really struck me. Now, in the case of Buffy, yeah, there was a REAL demon that Willow had inadvertently released into the 'Net by scanning an old book. What I got to thinking about is not an actual demon existing in the Internet but how much the Internet has changed my life for both the good and the bad. 

 In April, for the original Bloggerstock exchange, the bloggers all wrote in response to the statement, "The Internet ate my..." I was not involved in the first exchange, but I found all of the posts to be incredibly interesting. (I will, however be participating in this one. Be on the lookout for a guest post on May 31!) I want to take the time to take on the demon of the Web and share what he's eaten from my existence. 

The Internet ate my money...
This is three-fold. Number one, we pay a nice monthly fee to have high speed DSL at home. It is GREAT service, but our telecom (phone, DSL, and Dish Network) bill is our most expensive bill aside from the mortgage!   

Then there's the fact that I can go shopping for practically ANYTHING I can imagine online. There's no telling how much money I've spent on Amazon and ThinkGeek over the years. If I can go shopping without crowds, lines, rude people, and the general public, I'm a much happier person. 

Last, those pesky monthly subscriptions for things I like too much. Like I used to play WoW, so that was a monthly fee given to the Interweb demon. And now I can't imagine living without Netflix! We occasionally get the DVDs and watch them, but it's the instant play via our Wii that gets the most use.

The Internet ate my time...
I spend more time in front of my computer and playing on the web than is healthy. I am blogging, looking at random things on Reddit, watching videos on YouTube, on Twitter, in 20sb chat or forums, on a Wikipedia surfari, or a myriad of other worthless distractions.

The Hub and I also used to get sucked into the time vortex that is World of Warcraft. I've not played in 3 years, and he hasn't about 6 months. He gave it up because the amount of time spent playing was becoming an issue and he was getting bored. His friends transferred servers. I still heart him, though! :)

Sometimes, instead of being social in real life, or going to real life events, I'd rather zone out in front of the glow of my MacBook's screen. It's sad really. I would not ever want to calculate how much time I spend each day online. Especially now that I've got my iPhone. I'm plugged in no matter where I go now! It's scary, really.

The Internet ate my privacy...
This is the Facebook issue that everyone is starting to deal with. Or at least a lot of us are. I mentioned to people I work with the other day that I'm contemplating leaving FB altogether, and  they didn't understand why. Too many people out there just don't get it. Facebook is selling and linking your information and interests for profit. I do not appreciate it.

I'm a public school teacher, but I've been using FB for years to keep in touch with old friends from HS and undergrad. I do not want my 12 year-old students to find me. I don't want their parents to see my weekend plans. I've attempted to keep things as private as possible, but every time there's a privacy update, it resets everything.

Advocacy groups are trying to force FB to keep default settings as "opt-in" instead of "opt-out" by taking this to the FTC. If you ever have questions about this stuff, check out the Electronic Frontier Foundation. They're all about transparent, fair Internet with REAL privacy. You want to really read something scary about Internet privacy (or the lack thereof), check out Cory Doctorow's book Little Brother.

The Internet ate my sorrow...
One MAJOR positive thing about the Internet is that it's given me a place to vent over the years. In grad school, during the pre-Facebook days, I had a horribly emo blog that I know no one read, but it was nice to vent. Now that's what I do here, through Twitter, and on 20sb. I've discovered a great community of people who have been more than supportive whenever I've just needed to rant.

It's also been a great way to keep myself distracted when on the verge of a breakdown or when I'm sad because the Hub is on a business trip out of the country. It keeps me from digging myself into a deep hole. It truly has helped me in so many ways!

So to the Internet demon, I say, "Thank you and damn you, for you are both a blessing and curse, but now I don't know what I'd do without you!"

7 comments:

Melissa said...

Have you read this editorial yet?: http://www.rocket.ly/home/2010/4/26/top-ten-reasons-you-should-quit-facebook.html

He makes a good point. Several, actually. Anyway, after I read that I started thinking about leaving too. The hardest thing is that there just isn't any social networking site that all of my friends are a part of -- not everyone is on Twitter or Digg or Tumblr or anything like that. But I guess I'll just have to suck it up and quit.

Kara said...

@Melissa
I know! I totally agree with you. I use it to keep in touch with a lot of ppl that aren't on any other social networking site! Also, I'm not sure if I want everyone I know in RL to know about my blog. I might want to rant about stuff sometimes!

And yeah, I had stumbled across that editorial before. Seriously good points, huh?

Booya said...

The internet is evil...

RAY J said...

Good points!

It's one of those things where you can't live with it, can't live without.

I honestly can't remember how I used to waste as much time as I do now before the internet was easily accessible EVERYWHERE. I think I used to listen to music and sing and dance with a hairbrush in my room, but yeah, lol...

Emily Jane said...

OMG thank you for the lolcat fix :) I'd have to agree, time and privacy are the BIGGEST ones for me... but it's a personal choice. I think what I lack in the socializing department in real life I can do just as well in the Internetz, as sad as that sounds!!

Kara said...

@Bobby
Yes, it is!

@Ray J
Seriously, what did we do with our time before we were immersed in the 'Net? But then again, I used to stay up til 2am in HS on AIM...

@Emily
I love me some lolcatz! Also, yeah, it is a personal choice, and I like my Internet friends just as much as my RL friends! ;) They're awesome, too!

Amy said...

Oh internets, you may eat my soul, but I still won't turn you off. I also cringe to think at how many hours a day I am using the internet. Actually if I calculated it, I feel like someone would have an internet intervention to help me quit. So I won't. :)

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