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Stop Dissing the Net - reasons I love the internet!

If you hang around the net a bit, it won't be long before some smart arse will come along and tell you - via the net, mind you - why life is SO MUCH BETTER without the internet.

I've had more friends and net aquaintences, than I care to recount, tell me at one time or another that they're seriously considering cutting way back, or dropping this social network or that social network, because it sucks up so much of their time.

100% have never seriously cut back, or left any social network permanently.

Me, I LOVE the internet.

And I'll tell you, when it first came out - when my boyfriend at the time said, "You've got to come to the computer lab and see the chat rooms on the internet!", which then turned out to be hangouts for all sorts of perverted and seriously unattractive people, I was completely convinced I would never ever, EVER be a fan of the internet.

Well, times change, and the net has changed a lot since the early 90s as well.

Here are some of my top reasons for loving the internet:

  • I met my best friend on the internet. That was nine years ago, now. I would absolutely not have met her if it was not for the internet. We didn't travel in the same circles at all. In fact, we've laughed at the thought that had we met *in real life* many years ago, we would have both run screaming in opposite directions! She was a goth who liked to take morbid romantic photos of herself laying on gravestones with her eyes shut and a bouquet in hands on her chest. I was a Salvation Army soldier who sat in shopping malls selling the "War Cry" and collecting change (and I was really good at it, too!)... However, thanks to the net, we did indeed meet, and initially we connected over similar parenting approaches and later over many other things that make up both cackle laugh like old witches gorgeous, young maidens...
  • Finding beautiful things - especially clothes - that are not only to my rarified taste, but also fit me! This world, at least the world outside my door, dictates that women should at least try to be somewhere between a size 8 and a size 18, and they should want to wear clothing from fashion magasines or truly awful facsimiles of such clothing. Me, I'm not good at fitting into the mainstream, but that's okay because I have access to the internet, and via the internet I have access to shops that have sprung up because they have access to people who like what they have to offer, even those people aren't locals. The internets supports the idea that maybe only 50 000 in the whole wide world like peasant, rennaisance or bohemian clothing in plus sizes, and they don't all live in the same city. The internet makes such a business viable and because it's viable - I can access it!
  • I can learn how to do so many things I couldn't learn just by reading a book - even if I could find a book on every skill I wanted to learn. Yesterday I found some amazing, intricate "tatted" jewelry and thought - I wonder how this woman made that, so I looked it up, and found out how to "needle tatt" - and then I found an Australian business that sells tatting supplies, and I ordered some - because they were very inexpensive, and next week I'll teach myself how to make beautiful, intricate tatted pieces by watching someone do it on You Tube!
  • Tonight, I've spent a few hours reading the blog of Australian freelance writers and reviewers. I've followed some of these people on Twitter - where I might even pluck up the courage to "talk" to them, and who knows what I'll learn about the craft of writing through this indirect form of mentoring!
I'm a very shy person. Like most shy people, I'm mostly fine once I've gotten to know people - though if I don't see people for a while, you can bet your best buttons my heart will be racing at our next meeting - and the internet is great for breaking the ice before meeting people *in real life*. Later this month I'm going to a Blogger's Conference in Melbourne called Blogopolis. I do know a few of the other attendees from *real life*, so that is good, but only, let's say, FIVE people out of TWO HUNDRED and FIFTY! Thankfully, being a blogging event, every attendee has a blog and through their blogs I can get to know a little bit more about each of them. Some of them I also have on Twitter. This isn't going to completely shield me from my shyness, but it really does help - people like to say *real life* is best, and it probably is, but some of us wouldn't even think of venturing out into *real life* if it weren't for the transition of getting to know people over the internet.

And that is why I love the internet!


I think it is gorgeous how you met your best friend!

I agree there are lots of positives too about the internet and social media.

I don't know 'anyone' going to bolgopolis so I'll look out for you! I will possibly be arriving inside a nut outfit (not).

Also thanks for google + tips, Mr Nutshell hooked me up, but haven't had a chance to play.
Yvette O'Dowd said…
Hear! Hear! I feel exactly the same. Each time somebody pops up on my Facebook Wall announcing they are leaving FB because of XYZ, I feel sad. I love meeting new people online, buying stuff online I would never see in the mall, learning, sharing and being able to reach out to people.

I would not be the person I am today if it were not for the internet and I wouldn't have it any other way.
Sif said…
Gemma, if you see a larger than life woman with very short hair and dressed entirely in purple - hopefully peering very closely at her iPad2, that'll be me! Feel free to come and say hi because you're much more likely to recognise me first - because I can't see well beyond the end of my nose, lol!

Yvette, I think there is a view out in *the real world* that it is highbrow to eschew the internet, which strikes me as odd, really.
Yvette O'Dowd said…
It is a bit like those people who espouse "we don't have TV" but then spend time watching DVDs or streaming TV shows on their computer - or letting their kids do so! It is still TV guys, you either have it or you don't!
oh I love a bit of highbrow, although I am far more comfortable with lowbrow!

Will look out for you!
Sif said…
LOL, Yvette, yes! Gemma, I'm all highbrow - at least after I get my brows waxed...
Rachael said…
I would hazard a guess also that many of the people on the net consider themselves shy and that is why it is such a great way to meet people.

My biggest thing possibly against the internet is that it sucks my time. I couldn't maintain 100 friends IRL hence why many of us don't have that many - whereas on FB I feel obliged to.

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