living online

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. Every day, 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 here 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.

random thoughts

I had initially started this Web site as a creative outlet. I wanted to have a space where I could practice my web design skills and publish some writing at the same time. I decided to make weekly updates to force me to practice my skills regularly.

At the beginning, and every once in a while, I had a lot of trouble coming up with topics. Writing is, of course, my first and dearest love. It beckons me, calls my name and holds me in its grip. And I enjoy every minute of it. But if you don’t write regularly it becomes difficult to start up again.

Somehow, though, I have been able to offer a variety of topics from fluff to culture. I never thought that anyone would visit my site. It was just a place for me to play around. And now I receive e-mails from people who visit regularly. I receive comments and criticism and suggestions. And I’m aware that my playground is turning more public than I had realized.

As a writer I crave the attention. As a designer I enjoy the idea that people see my work. As a person, flawed and vulnerable, I cringe at the idea that strangers are reading my words, interpreting my ideas and opinions and discussing them. this site has taken a life of its own. So here I am, in the fifth month of existence, and I’m at a loss. Where do I go from here? My site is still my site, but now I have to remember that I have an audience. A *small* audience, but still, somebody is out there. Oh well, I’ll cope.