Saturday, January 30, 2010

Living in the Real World

I love the internet. Ever since my first year of college, when I would email my philosophy professor questions about assignments, I have loved the internet. Soon I discovered other joys, like shopping on eBay and online gaming...SLINGO, anyone? Information at my fingertips is like heaven...maps and directions, movie times, restaurant menus, store hours and locations, recipes...the list goes on. The shopping possibilities are endless too. I scour store websites, looking for the best price, and often end up at my favorite online shopping venue, When I became a mother, I discovered all kinds of wonderful uses for the internet, like looking up every sign and symptom of illness and connecting with other moms in online communities. Then came my first digital camera and the wonders of emailing pictures to friends and family and -joy of joys - ordering prints online! Up at all hours of the night with my third baby, My Space was my savior, chatting with old friends and being a voyeur into their lives by reading their profiles and looking at their photos while nursing my Lucy to sleep again and again. These days, Facebook is my ultimate means of online communication, and it is truly surreal being connected to people I have not seen in "real life" in many years, having a glimpse of their lives as I read their status updates and see pictures of their children and their latest vacations. My kids have grown up never knowing a world without the internet, and they too enjoy its perks, from Webkinz to You Tube, to emailing their friends and doing math and reading games. The internet took me down a life-changing path, leading to finding and getting to know my father when I was 30 years old, something I had dreamed of my whole life. I could go on and on listing the useful ways the internet has enhanced my hotel reservations, product reviews, staying in touch with my kids' teachers, checking school lunch menus and calendars, job searching, Craig's List, weather reports and school closings.

As much as I love the internet, lately I have been thinking more and more of living in the real world, of wanting to do real things and have real experiences, rather than virtual ones. And yet, here I am starting a blog. Hmmm. But I suppose, in its own way, the internet is a part of my real life. So as I strive to have more meaningful real world experiences, I will also strive to write about them here in the virtual world of the internet.

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