Thursday, August 02, 2001

Internet ready

What did we do before the Internet?

I don't mean for getting information, although certainly, it's unimaginable to me what I would have done to help my adopted special-needs children without this limitless resource on my desk. Everything I've learned about them and found to do for them has come in one way or another from an e-mail group or a Web site. I don't believe I'd have made it with just trips to the library or a single support group.

What I'm thinking of this morning, though, as I check my e-mail for the fourteenth time this hour and look up the latest headlines on Yahoo! and read new posts on the Mighty Big TV forums and scan the site traffic statistics for Mothers with Attitude and monitor my site's status on Sites for Parents and see what's new in Salon and check my e-mail again, is: What did we do to waste time?

I'm a procrastinator from way back, and it's hard to believe I once had to make time pass --with the illusion but not the fact of productivity -- without this interactive screen. Whatever did I do? I watched TV, maybe, or did crossword puzzles, or sang along to the stereo, or typed nonsense words on my typewriter. (Typewriters! Do you remember typewriters?) It was such work, not working. And all the more so at the office, where you had to look like you were doing something even when there was nothing you wanted to do. I remember jobs where my chief occupations some afternoons was watching my hair grow. Oh, for a computer screen and unlimited Web access!

Those didn't exist then, but they do now, and I am grateful. I've mastered the have-real-work-open-in-the-background-and-click-to-it-in-a-flash-when-boss-or-husband-appears maneuver, and I spend way more time aimlessly surfing than I have any right to. Isn't it wonderful? If not for the Internet, I'd have to clean my house, parent my children, do my work, stay in touch with my friends, pay attention to life as it passes. But who has time for that, when there's so much time to waste?

Sure hope they keep that "Code Red" worm at bay. I'd hate to be cut off for even a wasted minute.

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