I do not own a computer. I never got around to buying one. As a student I had access to a 24-hour computer lab that had everything I needed. As an office worker I have always had access to one computer or another. I discovered the Internet when I began doing online research for school projects. At that point I only visited gopher and Web sites, and strictly for school purposes. Not so anymore. Everyday, when I come into work, I check my e-mail (typically I have about 100 messages from 6 different discussion lists), I visit my news Web sites to find out what’s on the headlines today (I no longer read the paper or watch the evening news) and I browse through several newsgroups. And all this before 9 a.m.
I’ll admit that maybe my fascination with the Internet has gone a bit overboard. I blame it on my job. One of the first projects I received when I started working for the University of Houston was to create a Master Calendar Web site. Okay, I’ll confess that I did, sort of, volunteer for the project, but at the time I had no idea it would give birth to such an obsession. At the time I didn’t even know what HTML was. A year later I even have my own personal little site. I have two e-mail applications on my office computer that regularly check three different e-mail accounts, all of them work-related. I have my copy of Netscape working all day because I frequently have to access information about the university that is more readily available on the web than by phone. I have Internet friends I’ve never met but like very much. I have college friends I keep up with but haven’t actually spoken to in months. Isn’t e-mail great? Whenever I have a question or need to find something, I look on the world wide web first. Only as a last resort do I pick up the telephone. Why should I? I’m living online now.