Saturday, January 29, 2011

My Name is Marcia and I’m an Internet Addict

The other morning I got up at my usual time of 4:15 and shuffled to my computer, ready to greet the day. It was dark and cold and dank and a little bit creepy, but that didn’t matter because I had my internet, my world that never sleeps.  Facebook, email, gmail, my newspapers, my favorite blogs. All was well.

That’s until I got that uh-oh feeling. There was a rather nasty message on my screen, something about "can’t find website, please try again.” Oh God, it couldn’t possibly be true. My internet couldn’t possibly be down. After all, I’m a good person.

I sat for a few seconds in disbelief and then I restarted my computer, praying the good old off-on application would do the trick. When that didn’t work, I started plugging and unplugging cables and looking at the little blinking lights on the receiver thingy. I went from Firefox to Explorer, hoping one of them would be at fault. They weren’t. Next, I turned on the TV to see if my cable was working.  It was. For a while, I just sat sadly at the computer, pushing my mouse and fingering the keys, pretending to surf the net, similar to the way little boys pretend to drive while sitting in their daddies’ inert cars. I thought to call my son, Billy, on the west coast because he can usually talk me through these things, but thought better of that stupid idea as it was just after midnight there.

I decided to go ahead and get my bath, hoping to calm myself and find comfort with warm water and a supine position. But alas, calm and comfort were not what descended upon me. As I lay there naked in my tub, I worried about my kids who, although they were all sound asleep, might wake up and post something on Facebook and when I didn’t comment might think I was dead or worse, that I hadn’t paid my cable bill. And in thinking about my cable bill, I began to worry about my bank account, which, because I couldn’t check my balance, might have been infiltrated by someone who stole my identity (after shutting down my internet) and I’d end up in debtors' prison or pushing a grocery cart down Ponce de Leon Avenue and having to use the public library to get online. And then there was the weather. How would I know what to wear to work if I couldn’t check the weather on weather.com. Just looking and sticking my arm out the window certainly wasn’t going to do the trick.  OMG!  It might be somebody's birthday!  How was I to know without Facebook?

Come to think if it, we might have had the end of the world while I was sleeping.  That's probably what caused my internet to be out.  The fact that my cable was working was no indicator because the station my television was set on was HGTV and I doubt if they have anyone on staff in charge of Armageddon, not like I'm sure The Huffington Post has.

I finally pulled my saturated self out of the suds and despondently dragged my wet body back to my forlorn computer, thinking maybe I could at least write something on a Word document, perhaps a sad poem.

Hello World! My internet was back up, right there on my computer where it was supposed to be, proving I really am a good person.

23 comments:

Freda said...

A much more dignified response in the end than I usually make. You do highlight so well how much we depend on the internet. It has become a huge part of everyday life. Especially when there is rolling news like the situation in Egypt and other parts of the Med and Middle East. You've definitely got the gift of turning a crisis into a vivid story. Every Blessing

Jean said...

I feel your pain, believe me. If our internet connection goes down, I pace the floors and wring my hands, at a loss what to do to make my day worthwhile. (and what are you doing up at 4:15? When I was teaching I got up at 4:45, and now I realize that was ridiculous.

marciamayo said...

Jean, it is ridiculous but I need my time before I face the inmates.

cile said...

Yes I suspect we have become so dependent that we will all require recovery programs soon. Brooding in the tub about the internet is a sure sign that an intervention must be just around the corner! So true! How would I live without Google? I become short of breath just contemplating it!

Great post, Marcia, and timely when you realize that Egypt pulled the plug on its populace and how that must have fueled that situation!

Arkansas Patti said...

Do you suppose there is a 12 step program somewhere for this addiction? I've tried cutting back but that is a joke. Good luck to us all as we slide into the electronic abyss.

Friko said...

4.15 is when I turn over to go to sleep properly.

As for the rest, the internet is for those who do not have a life, i.e. you, me and everybody I know in blogland. I don't surf as much as you do but I must know that I could if I wanted to. Emails get checked several times a day, as do blogs. I use my mac to write stuff too, I sit with my back to the window, facing the screen and miss real life going on without me.

It is pathetic, I am deeply ashamed of myself and wish I had the moral courage to switch off and come alive and smell the flowers.

No chance.

Friko said...

That's a very pleasant corner you have there, at least you have daylight. I shall have to take a photo of my miserable computer desk, perhaps that'll make me come to my senses.

marciamayo said...

WWW, I'm trying to remember that you call this addiction. And to all of you who mentioned Egypt, I had already started this post when I heard (or most likely read)the news, but that certainly added to my palpitations - for lots of reasons.

Joan Madaglia said...

How did we ever survive all those years without the internet?

marciamayo said...

Joan, I can't even remember it. There's a clip on Facebook right now with Katie Couric et al in 1994 trying to understand what you do with the internet.

MaryB said...

Beautifully and perfectly describes the situation. Love it.

Olga said...

Oh, I have been there as well. I want things to work without my having to figure things out. Turn on the computer, it works; turn on the car it starts up, etc. I hate to problem solve. Why can't we just have a perfect world?

Celia said...

After years of rising to get ready for work my eyes still pop open at 5:30 but now I manage to shut them again. When my pc is down the first thing I do is curse the cable company, it's them about a 1/3 of the time but I feel they deserve it. I love your computer space, I wouldn't show anyone mine. You've inspired me to do better!

marciamayo said...

Celia, I inherited my space. The young couple that sold me my condo had the guts to paint the sunroom orange. I would have never had the nerve. I remember my real estate agent saying the first thing I should do would be to paint the sunroom. No way. The orange was what sold me on the place.

Anonymous said...

You'll never push a shopping cart down Ponce de Leon as long as I'm around. You are more productive with the internet than I am piddling in the yard and walking in circles. Think of it as a tool that keeps you connected as well as a creative outlet. I actually think it's a boon for baby boomers like us. However I would like to see you be "interventioned"

Brighid said...

very funny & acurate. I'm trying to wean myself away from the internet, it's not going well. One day off a week so far...

Wisewebwoman said...

Well *said she smugly* I've got my unplugged Wednesdays but can so relate to you as I was offline (problems with blankety blank turbo service) last night WITHOUT MY LEXULOUS and I was a pathetic sight, wringing my hands. I was irritable, crotchety and nearly in tears.
Had to resort to watching a movie, hanging up pictures, and, erm, pacing, not sitting in a corner and jonesing but nearly.....
Sheeite, It's a really bad one isn't it?
XO
WWW

LC said...

How thoughtless of you to post this hilarious description of our mutual addiction! i am sitting in a coffee shop after attending church and eating a (semi) healthy lunch, which proves I am a good person too, well maybe not good, but at least undeserving of the pain I am enduring trying not to laugh my guts out and roll on the floor. I lost it totally when you worried that your kids would think you dead OR WORSE. . . and it was downhill from there, caught in an ever growing snowball of tear-inducing laughter. Thanks! Now my husband thinks (knows) I've gone round the bend.

marciamayo said...

LC, at least you are still attending church - do you check your email while there? I surreptitiously do right before turning it off with the morning announcements.

Bobby Gail said...

I am ashamed to say that I can entertain myself perfectly well all day on the computer as long as I have quick meals and potty breaks. I am ashamed to say that when I walk in the door from being somewhere else I immediately head to the computer. I am hooked. Yes, I read, eat and play -- a little bit. But nothing beats wandering the world......and seeing all my new friends.

Linda Myers said...

So glad others are like me!

Last year I got addicted to Farmville on Facebook. I knew the signs, as I'm in a real-world 12-step program. I had to stop plowing and harvesting and all the other fun things I had in that virtual place.

I spend a lot of time online, but I don't feel addicted like I was to Farmville. I get my news on the computer rather than from a paper or TV. I talk to friends online rather than not at all, and I still meet them for lunch. I never have been much of a phone talker, so online is actually an improvement over what I didn't do before.

Who would ever have imagined the online world even 20 years ago?

schmidleysscribblins.wordpress.com said...

I agree with Friko, you do have a gorgeous place for working on the Internet.

I can understand your panic when the Internet does not light up. My mind works like yours (scary thought). When my mouse finally stopped working (apparently you can wear them out) and my keyboard got slow, I finally allowed David to touch my computer and install new ones.

Actually, that is a lie, I did it and he shined the light on the dark place at the back of my computer. Just stick the plug in the slot with the matching color he suggested. Voila! I found the purple hole (surely there is a better word?) and I had a new mouse, proving that if a woman has the right equipment, a successful connection is a no brainer.

I too am a good girl.

Couture Allure Vintage Fashion said...

You just started my day with a LOL. Thanks for the levity!