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Sunday, March 09, 2003

While visiting a friend in Texas, I wasn't able to get online most of that time because her computer was down. However, it's not like I'm an "Internet Junkie". I don't suffer from, as the mental health community terms it, "pathological internet use". I swear. Hey, just because I get online everyday doesn't mean I have to!

I can stop logging on any time I want. Damn straight I can. I just don't want to.

Here's the journal I kept while offline. Amazingly, I was able to document my activities with these primitive tools called a "pencil" and "paper". It's kind of hard to explain what those are, but, suffice to say, they're a bit like a keyboard and computer - except you don't have to plug them in to make them work. I'm not making that up. It's true.


DAY 1: I'm feeling good. Other than not being able to read the news on the BBC, CNET, MSNBC, CNN, Drudge Report, Australian Broadcasting Corp., Google News, Reuters, 'Best of the Web Today', AP, Yahoo News, worldnetdaily, Ain't-It-Cool News, and CBC.ca websites (not to mention dozens of web logs), I'm A-ok.

Other than feeling isolated in a very scary and unfamiliar world, in other words.

Instead, my friend offers me the daily paper. Ink printed on big sheets of paper; can you believe that? Before I get to the end of the first section, my fingertips turn black. As it so happens, this ink rubs off! Hey, if it’s not in an ink-jet printer cartridge, it's not ink in my book.

Maybe I need to 'Refresh' my attitude.

So, I go to the park. However, it smells funny. It doesn't smell sterile. It leaves me anxious and confused.

On the way home, I get lost. It's not my fault, as I wasn't able to get online and print out a "neighborhood map" beforehand. I have to rely on street signs to find my way. Yeah, like that's gonna work. Talk about a crazy and complicated way of doing things. Street signs - sheesh!

DAY 2: Spend most of the afternoon remembering the good ole days. I first got online in the mid-80s. Back then, all we had were Bulletin Board Systems (BBSs). Simply put, these were single computers, often in somebody's home, with one phone line to connect. If somebody else was online, the line was busy and you had to wait your turn. I started at 300bps, and then went to 1200bps. But it was never fast enough.

Eventually, Al Gore invented the Internet. Thank God for Al Gore.

After that, I was "off to the races" as the saying goes.

I first got on the Internet about five years ago. I have a dial-up connection. However, I no longer get that euphoric high I used to get when logging in via phone. I'm afraid I'm going to have to mainline DSL/Cable soon, just to recapture that high. I'm frightened. I'm very very frightened.

Last month, I sold my car just to afford to set up a website of my own. Now, I'm thinking about pawning the stereo so I can upgrade to a bigger Yahoo mailbox. Where will it end? As they say, "One log-in is too many, and a thousand never enough."

Oh no, I just realized - I haven't backed up my files in over 48 hours. Talk about your stressful situations.

DAY 3: The Internet withdrawal symptoms are kicking in. The cold sweats come and go. I'm shaking uncontrollably at times. I can't focus my eyes. My joints ache. I can't seem to concentra...

...If only I could log onto internetaddict.org and get some help! Maybe I could join of one those "Internet Addict Support Group" mailing lists I've heard so many wonderful things about.

Still anxious and confused. Even more so, in fact.

DAY 4: I find I'm now sleeping more than four hours a night. However, I still wake up at three AM and think, "Time to get online and check that email." Old habits die hard, apparently. Thereafter, my sleep is restless.

I awake this morning, after having a strangely fevered 'net dream.

I dreamt Matt Drudge and Instapundit's Glenn Reynolds were standing at the foot of my bed.

Drudge held a mouse in the palm of his hand, and said, "Just one click. It'll make you feel good."

Reynolds added, "The first log-in is free, but then it's gonna cost 'ya. Only $19.95 a month!"

I wake with a start, to find my bed drenched in stale sweat. I feel very cold and alone. If only I had another human being to talk to - but I don't have access to Yahoo! Messenger right now.

My first thought this morning is "How much unsolicited sex-related email has piled up?" I'm horny as hell, and have no way to look at online porn. I feel as if I'm going to explode from the waist down. Damn.

DAY 5: My friend has been trying to get me to eat something all day. I won't touch that food. It smells funny. I feel nauseous.

She says she walked up to the store and bought the food especially for me. "You went where?" I ask. Evidently, this so-called "store" has food on shelves and people go there IN PERSON and place the items they've chosen in a cart. Then they go through what's called a "check-out line" and pay CASH for the food. I'm not pulling your leg here. Evidently, some people do that. Go figure.

I only buy food via grocerystore.com, paying by credit card. If its been pawed by human hands, I want no part of that so-called "food."

DAY 6: My friend went to work today. I've been sitting here, trying to figure out how I can get across town to the library. There are computers with Internet access there. I don't have a car. Maybe I can walk. It'll only take about two hours. Or maybe I can borrow somebody's car. Or steal one. Whatever it takes, man. Whatever it takes.

But, the diarrhea has set in. I haven't been able to leave the bathroom, much less the house, all day.

And now that I finally feel up to it, my friend has come home.

I've heard rumors about men in trench coats, lurking in dark alleys behind office buildings closed for the day. They run long extension cords and phone lines out of the building, and have old computers - with Internet access! - set up there.

I spend a good part of the evening looking for these guys.

I told my friend I was just going for a short walk, to get some "fresh air." Yeah, like I want any part of that funny smelling air. However, not being an addict herself, she buys my story. What a sucker!

That was hours ago. She's probably pretty worried by now, but I don't really care. I've got to get online if it's the last thing I do.

DAY 7: My friend finally gets her computer repaired. Oh sweet Jesus, thank you! She turns on her computer but it takes forever to load up. "Boot up," I scream, "boot up, damn you!"

Now I'm online, typing in and posting this journal.

I'm no longer anxious and confused. I'm feeling A-ok.

I got my terminal fix.

posted by Pete 5:29 AM
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