From Internet Cafes to Smart Phones

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When I was a senior in high school the internet was just beginning to take off. Even at my little boarding school in New Hampshire we were only allocated 30 minutes a day on the overloaded dial up. We would wait anxiously as we watched the little bar on the computer screen fill up. I desperately wanted people to email but was limited to  my friends at school for the most part.
Going home for the weekend meant no more internet with its lulling sound of the dial up and no more chain emails asking me who my secret celebrity crush was or when it was that I last clipped my toe nails. It was torture being away from the time consuming mainly due to the ‘speed’ of pages loading internet.
In college I would spend my free time and money at the local internet cafe. I would hand over $20 to the girl at the counter to get my password for 30 minutes of wonderment on the computer. Then I would hand over another $2 for a vanilla cappuccino. By noon every computer would be full and I would get bumped as soon as my time was up.
I lived for internet cafes and the strange little group of people who gathered there to sip coffee and join chat rooms. It was because of these cafes that I had no need for internet in my apartment. I had my mother’s old computer for a while, but only used it for the word processor to type term papers. I should add that by this time it was the year 2000 and I didn’t even own a cell phone.
Being up in Maine at this point cell service was scarce and those who had them paid half a months pay for it. My parents had a bucket phone for their car which rarely got used. It collected dust more than minutes. When I joined the Coast Guard later that year I shipped off to boot camp without even an email address.
Once I graduated the need for an email account was inevitable and so was the need for a cell phone. The 85 people I had just spent every minute of every day with for the past 2 months were dispersing all over the country. Luckily every CG unit had internet and its own email system.
By 2003 I still didn’t have internet in my house and only used email every so often while under way on ships to tell my family everything was ok. My cell phone only ever got used when in home port and even then it stayed in my purse most of the time. Any time spent on the internet was still done at internet cafes and I loved it. Getting stationed in New Jersey was like heaven for me. There seemed to be an internet cafe on every corner. And I broke down and joined the world of the smart phone with my Sidekick. But still didn’t have internet in my own home.
In 2006 a friend introduced me to MySpace and my internet world opened up! A year later I found myself with internet in my house, wireless at that, and a kick ass MySpace page.
From there it has been all downhill. I quickly branched out into cyber space from MySpace to Facebook to Twitter and inevitably the blogosphere. Now I have a wireless internet that can support up to 5 computers at once and an Android phone from which I am currently blogging from. It’s amazing how quickly my life came to revolve around the internet and everything it has to offer. And all though I do enjoy now being able to wake up at 3am and surfing through my Twitter timeline and being able to blog on a 2″x 4″ smart phone, I enjoy my time playing with minions and smuggling with BF more…..and then tweeting all about it.
Happy surfing my fellow internet addicts!

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