I just don't know what I did before the Internet came along. I actually can't remember. Just imagine being born AFTER the Internet came along and then considering a world without it. It would be like considering a world where there was no electricity . . . anywhere. Or further back. No gas. Or even further back. No candles, no torchlight.
But back to the Internet. How dependent are you on the Internet? (Notice I still spell it with a capital "I" . . . I suppose that's gone the way of "e-mail" and "on-line" but at this point I'm not really sure!) Do you start itching for a keyboard and a screen after 24 hours away? What did you do with your computer before the Internet came along? Do you still remember your first modem? (Mine was 2400-baud. How antiquated that sounds now. Like talking about telegrams.)
But as we know, the Internet and the Web are two different things. (We do know that, don't we?) And it's really the Web that most of us use the Internet for, if you don't count email, FTP and other, now almost completely marginalized entities such as IRC and Usenet.
Unfortunately, the Web has its snares. I know you probably haven't heard of it, but there's a thing called MMPORG which apparently have hundreds of millions of addicts. We're talking people who sit in front of their computers all day and all night, seven days a week, completely immersed in a fantasy game.
Or, regrettably, Facebook. I'm proud to say (VERY proud to say) that I deleted my Facebook account yesterday. Not deactivated it, deleted it. That means that in 14 days (they really don't want to lose you so they don't ACTUALLY delete it for 14 days after you've pushed "Delete") all the information that you had created on your Facebook page will have disappeared. At least, as far as everybody else is concerned. But not Facebook; you still live on on their servers -- everything you ever typed into your page, every photo or video you put up -- for as long as they want to keep it (they won't say how long that is).
Does that make you want to race to delete YOUR Facebook page? Try it -- it ain't easy. But it's too late, anyway. They've already got all your info and there's not a thing in the world you can do about it.
So that distraction -- it was always minor, in my case -- has gone. So what do I like the Internet for? Wikipedia. I can, and do, get lost for whole afternoons on that site. Just travelling from link to link. One makes me think of something else, so I go there, and find something else . . . and before you know it, a whole afternoon has gone by. Watching a movie? If you're me, you're on Wikipedia every 20 minutes, looking up some obscure detail about it. Reading a book? Off to Wikipedia to find out more about something. It's endless. I just don't know how I survived without it, let alone the Web, let alone the Internet, let alone computers, let alone electricity!
Whew. I'm exhausted just talking about it. Besides, I have in my clipboard Rick Derringer's name. I think I'll just go look him up.