The internet used to be my refuge, my place to go to "talk" with adults each day, to learn about current events and what other moms were doing or thinking, to get the latest celebrity gossip, or learn about the status of world events.
I LOVED being able to go on the internet ... my family used to tease me (okay, they still do tease me) that I'm addicted to the internet and would probably explode should I not be able to check my e-mails every 10 minutes.
[I'd like to note here that I have gone entire weekends without checking e-mails and my head is still in one piece thank you very much. Now, a whole week of no e-mail, well, I don't know if that's doable!]
We used to live in a neighborhood where I didn't know my neighbors. There was a language barrier there, and although they were nice and a few of them even tried to talk to me (which I appreciated) we never did get past formalities of how are you, how is your day, great, bye. Mostly because very few spoke any english and I don't speak spanish that well.
So I was, to put it bluntly, lonely. I turned to an on-line world of message boards and e-mails. And then a few years ago, turned to blogging. At first only reading one message board ... and at my peak, posting and participating on 7 message boards at once! Now the number is lower and slowly dropping again ....
I began by reading a small number of blogs from people I knew on one message board, and today it has exploded into over 100 blogs read by me (no, not all on the same day!).
But lately, the internet has not been that wonderful place I once thought it was. Many past internet friends have gotten non-internet lives .... dropping e-mail addresses, no more postings on message boards, blogs deleted.
From another message board I recieved an anonymous e-mail telling me to stop posting there since apparently Ms. I-am-too-chicken-to-e-mail-you-under-my-actual-e-mail-address was speaking "on behalf of the entire board." And yes, I read the e-mail as I rolled my eyes, I knew it was probably some snert who read the most recent debate and took advantage of it, and probably not even someone who actual posts on that board, well, I had to think - is this really the kind of e-mail I want to recieve? Is this what I want to read?
Well, no, not really. Granted, I have opinions and I like to debate topics, but I don't generally like to be mean to people nor do I think I'm powerful enough to tell one person where they can and can't go on the internet. But really, I had to think if that is what I wanted in my life. And the answer is no. And know I struggle with what exactly do I want from the internet? When I get time, where do I want to visit - blogs, message boards, neither, both .... I don't know.
I suppose I need to grow thicker skin, learn to take the good with the bad, and not let things bother me so much .... but it's not that easy for me to do that! I try, I really do ... my skin is thicker than when I entered my first message board debate - I've grown from there. Right now I need to continue to grow and I need to figure out what to do with myself these days.
I suppose the hardest part of this is losing my internet friends. People who no longer use the internet that much that don't really e-mail back when I e-mail them. It's sad to grow apart from people that I once felt so close to. To feel like the relationship with them - even if only over e-mails and posts and comments - is now over. Who knows, maybe they will grow again. Maybe not. But it's sad. And I hate seeing things like that end.