I’m an internet nerd. I’ll admit that straight off. I use GTalk for internet chatting. I’m active on all kinds of message boards. I play MMORGs. I have a Flickr account.I have a YouTube account. I have a Twitter account. I subscribe to RSS feeds. I use Gmail more than I use the telephone.
All in all, I probably spend more time during the week on the internet than I do…well, doing much else.
But I’m not an introvert. This is a stereotype that is slowly disappearing, but some people still think that internet nerds are all sequestered, anti-social shut-ins that can’t deal with reality–but like I said, I’m not an introvert. I love people, and I truly love all my friends. The thing is, the internet actually allows me to stay connected and maintain relationships. I love knowing that several times throughout the day I can look at my Gtalk client and see several friends that I can talk to. I love the fact that I have friends that I’ve never even seen in person. The internet allows me to stay connected with people I would have otherwise lost touch with, and to connect with people that I wouldn’t have had the pleasure of meeting without it.
It’s a cliche thing to say, but the internet, if used correctly, truly is a community.
When I was a kid, I used to imagine that when I grew up I’d use all my zillions of dollars (hey, I was a kid) to build a big old castle where I could live with all my friends. I imagined a big library and a really cool in-door pool, and all the VHS tapes we could watch.
My fantasy hasn’t changed all that much, but instead of VHS tapes now I’d install a totally sweet PVR system with HDMI outputs and the biggest damn flatscreen TVs I could find. I’d also install a workout area with a complete dojo, and a common garden area with beautiful plants and plenty of benches, where we could all read and visit, and all the dogs could romp and play. But the important part is that I’d have all my friends in one place, and we could visit and share each other’s company without having to worry about money or the stress of jobs.
But unless I find One-Eyed Willie’s rich stuff in the next few years, that ain’t happening. Fortunately, I can use the internet to stay connected with friends and family. It’s not a castle, but it’s the best we’ve got.