Friday, June 21, 2013

Unexpected Intervention

Hi.  My name is Beth and I'm an internet addict. 

I first started by using the gateway drug Bitnet back in 1989.  Heh, I was a kid, I was in college... what can I say?  In my generation, most kids started their addiction in college anyway.  Things like Bitnet weren't readily available anywhere else. 

Bitnet was slow.  It was ungainly.  But man, what a rush!  I could sit in the computer lab and send messages to people all the way across the country.  I could hang out with my friends and we could talk to other friends who weren't even in the room! 

After I left college, though, times got rough.  I couldn't afford to feed my habit.  I didn't have the scratch to buy a computer, and forget about internet access.  (Hell, when I first left college, the 'internet' was still so new not many people could get their hands on it.)  I thought I was over it.  But like so many other addictions, it was just lying in wait...

Flash forward several years.  Circuit City had a sale.  I got my first home computer.  And then I discovered the new gateway drug to lead me to where I am now:

America Online.

Those dirty bastards hooked me and hooked me good.  I was chatting my days away - forgetting chores, forgetting to eat, ignoring my family.  I eventually left AOL and ventured into new and wonderful aspects of my addiction all on my own.  Sure, sometimes someone would send me a new and shiny link - but I didn't have to click it.  I just couldn't help myself. 

To show you how far this has gone, I had internet hooked up in my new house before I had a refrigerator delivered.

This past week, though, it's been hell around here.  The 'high speed' internet we were promised has too many other addicts sucking at it.  There's not enough to go around.  I'm totally jones'n, man.  And those ISP bastards put up a sign on the corner - right where the juice comes from to feed my addiction - offering the others in my neighborhood a taste of this ambrosia if they just sign up now.  :shudder: More people on my DSL??  There are too many here already.  It keeps knocking me off.  It runs so slow that I feel like I'm back on dial-up waiting for AOL to WELCOME me.  I can't work.  I can't play.  All I can do is sit here, staring at my modem and waiting for the little light to turn green again so I can get my fix.

I suppose this is just the intervention I need.  I did get 2200 words out last night.  But I couldn't even check my email between pages like I'm used to.  :sniffle:

I'm getting just enough of the drug to keep me from getting the DTs, but it ain't pretty around here.  I... I... I even CLEANED the bathroom this morning! 

You know life's bad when you're forced to clean the bathrooms.

How about you?  What's your story?  How long have you been using the internet?  Could you quit if you wanted to? 


  1. I got my first computer in 1984 (okay, that's kind of scary if you think about it...) but I don't think I actually knew anything about the WWW until 1992(?) when we got a hookup through SWBell. I remember BBBs but it wasn't until after the millennium that I truly drank the Cool-Aide.

    FYI, it's 10:30. I need to shower. Do errands. WRITE! MARKET! But I'm sitting here going through my blog RSS feed, reading, commenting, and winnowing through way more emails than I'd like.

    We need to start a 12-step program. Just sayin'....

    I hope your DSL speeds up. I remember those dial-up days. Don't miss 'em!

  2. LOL! Condolences, Beth. There's little in life more frustrating than a slow internet connection.

    I can't give up my addiction - the internet is how I make my living. But I'm trying hard to cut back...

  3. Lol you're adorable.

    Obviously I wasn't using the internet back in 1989--I was born in December of that year, after all.

    We didn't get a computer or internet until I was in my teens. Once that happened, however, I was screwed. I was able to leave it at home for things like school, or camping, etc... but now? The only way to get me off the internet is if it simply isn't available where I am. And since I have a fancy smartphone, that's not many places ;)

    Even when I go camping, I still bring my laptop to write. Technology is my ultimate weakness!

  4. My father introduced my husband to this new fangled contraption called a personal computer back in 1982 and he was hooked.

    I didn't get sucked into the internet thing until I started writing (in 2009). Yeah, talk about behind the times. But hey, my husband was doing enough internet stuff for 10 people!!

    Is there a way you can get internet through your cable company? Roadrunner was a Godsend for my husband. He had the same complaints with DSL you're making, but we had a bank to compete with. Guess who lost?

  5. I was queen of the nerds, Silver (aka dating the computer club president). But I didn't have my own computer until 1999. I hope you managed your addiction so you could get some work done today.

    Yeah, Deb, I can't live without internet. It was part of the deal buying this place - has to have high speed internet. And we did until the summer people showed up and inhaled my bandwidth.

    LOL, sometimes I forget I'm the same age as your mom, Nat. I've managed to stay away from smart phone and iPads, etc. Those would really be my undoing.

    Ah, a late started to the addiction, Stacy. I understand. Welcome to the support group, though. ;o) And we can get internet through our satellite service, but the phone company promised great things, so I bundled. I can't unbundle without it costing me. Bastiges.

    (I originally wrote these replies last night, btw. Damn internet.)

  6. I first used the internet in about 1997 and my computer cost a fortune and took a couple of years to pay off!

    We've recently had a new local system connected to our house - free offer, before we have to pay, etc - and it's awful. It keeps cutting out and the frustration when you're part way through emailing, or looking something up and it cuts out is so annoying.

    I suppose I should make the most of the time offline and write...

  7. Yes, you are an internet addict. And you passed this awful affliction no to me, you poor innocent daughter.
    :p I had no hope of avoiding it.