Thursday, October 06, 2005

Kali- what the heck would we do without the internet- Down

So a few months back I was googling my then girlfriend's ex-girlfriend (we have since broken up and she is back together with said ex) Kali, and I stumbled onto her marathon page. She had already completed the Boston Marathon (I can't even imagine!) but had been unsuccessful in meeting her projected fundraising goal. After reading her little blurb I was inspired to donate and believed that hitting anonymous meant that she would not realize who the donation came from. I was shocked to learn that my donation was anonymous to everyone except her! Of course she found my out of the blue donation very unsettling and called Cameron. She eventually settled down, decided that the only fitting course of action was to google me and then promptly e-mailed me about it. Her e-mail was kind and we went back and fourth a bit, anyway, this is all to highlight how she signed off on the last e-mail: "kali- what the heck did people do before the internet?- down".

In my return e-mail to Kali I signed off as: "melanie- there was a time before internet?- lafav". I started thinking about how attached I was to the internet and other new fandangled comforts like my cell phone. For a while I lamented this attachment and wished that I was not so dependent on all this technology. After spending a week "without" internet I have changed my mind!

Without is in quotes because its not like I went to a remote village in Mali like my amazing friend Neda who has been working with the Peace Corps for over a year. No, by without I mean that due to billing problems I was unable to access the internet in the comfort of my own home. This fact stressed me out beyond all belief. Everyday I woke up wishing that I could check my e-mail to see if some far off loved one had e-mailed about their life, or more important if DPH had e-mail me about the "informal" job offer they made. I went to work and struggled through my day barely able to contain the feeling that I was missing out on some amazing opportunity due to my inability to jump on-line at a moments notice. A couple of times I called my mother and had her go into my various inboxes. Of course every time I finally was able to access my e-mail there were very few important messages.

I eventually found myself in the Boston Public Library, waiting again and again to use the 15 minuet express computer (by this time I had initiated a new e-mail relationship with the lady I am interested). Finally I made my way to my own public library in Somerville- right down the street. I am now the proud holder of a library card- my first since moving to Massachusetts over 5 years ago. While in the library I found a book by Joe Namath on Football for Young Players- oh yes I am very serious about my new sport!

Moral of the story- do not underestimate the importance of home internet access, you never realize how much you rely on it until it is gone (e-mail, yellow pages, mapquest, news, blogs, etc). But don't let home internet access and its ability to connect you to people and ideas all over the world keep you from becoming invested in your local community- go get a library card!

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