Net Addict

9 Sep 1997


I just helped my dad install the phone jack in the "bonus room" over the garage in his family's house. The computer in this guest room, kids' playroom and workspace will now be able to access the Net; all that remains is to find an ISP. I will be connected again!

The elation that I feel at this is partially explained by the fact that I'm here at my dad's house in Columbia, SC, for a while. I have successfully weathered two two-week periods away from the Net and indeed computers in the past few months (my friend Jon says he couldn't cope with that!), but it is beginning to grate now. I don't have a lot to do here while everyone else is at work and I, not knowing how to drive or possessed of a reliable car to use if I could, read and needlepoint and write paper letters. Lots of them. An average of just under one a day these past two weeks.

The letters are an attempt to stay connected with the people around me at home in Tampa. Well, also one in Kansas, one in Pennsylvania, one in Charleston, South Carolina, and one in Gainesville, FL and one in Orlando. Since I got here I have sent letters to: Jon, Chris, Toby, Marie, Lisa, Brian, Matt, Ben, Sean, Crystal, Rob, Mike, Jon again, and am working on Chris and Mike again. There are at least three more who would be on that list if I had ever remembered to get their snail-mail addresses. All but one of these people I e-mail regularly or semi-regularly, or talk to them on local newsgroups.

None of them write back. Not snail-mail.

OK, so I do have letters from Chris, Lisa and Toby that arrived just before I left. And I have seen Chris since I got here, now that he's a two-hour drive away instead of that ten-hour one. But the people from whom I have two-inch binders of printed-out email can't seem to bother with actually writing an address on an envelope and putting a stamp on it. I find this really odd. Turning on the computer, getting connected to your ISP, going into your e-mail program and typing a whole e-mail is less difficult that writing it out on paper?!?

I don't pine for Usenet, despite the amount of time I spend on it at home. I don't really miss the Web. I don't even bother with IRC at any time. But I am longing to be connected again, just so I can have my friends back.

Is it actually me who's the Net addict?

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