How much easier my life was before the internet became such an integral part of it. Nowadays, instead of getting a tad frustrated because my typewriter ribbon has run out or a tad peeved because my fingers are covered in ink I now get driven to the point of murderous rage because this awkward, stroppy and incomprehensible lump of electronic gadgetry decides it wants to imitate the moving pace of an arthritic snail!
Yes, I am talking about trying to connect to the internet and sitting waiting, waiting, waiting with growing impatience until that magical, world-opening connection is made and my life - which had been on hold for the interminable time it took for my computer and the WWW to speak to one another - can resume once more.
Oh, the relief! The sheer, heart-pumping joy and excitement of being able to communicate with any other person anywhere else in the world is almost overwhelming. That murderous rage that came within millimetres of burying me under its own weight just a few brief seconds ago is magically gone, just like that! As soon as that liitle icon stopped spinning and I typed in those magical first three letters of a web address my whole world - universe - fell back into perfect alignment.
It is unutterably, moronically, childishly, pathetically stupid. Honestly, I am a grown man of mature years, yet I have, at times, been driven to tears by not being able to connect to the internet. Why? WHY?
Like any new thing that comes along in our lives, we don't know how much we want it or need it until it has become as much a part of our daily life as eating, going to the bathroom or having sex (okay, maybe the latter isn't exactly daily for everyone, but you follow my drift, right?) I am no technophobe, far from it. However, I am a techno-resisto-phobe: that is, I try not to use new technology until I really have no choice anymore. For instance, I avoided mobile phones for years until it actually became impractical for me to not have one.
Society and the changing times forced me into a situation whereby I was almost considered slightly odd because I had not jumped on the new technology bandwagon and embraced its possibilities with widespread arms. Like you and everyone you and I know, if I don't have my goddamn mobile 'phone with me at all times now I feel as though I am underdressed or something. It's pathetic.
In its early days the internet held no fascination for me in the slightest. I thought it was little more than a big toy for people who had more time on their hands than was good for them to while away their sad and empty lives. Then I was put into a position whereby I had to use it on a daily basis and my safe, secure, happy and sensible world was cruelly taken from me.
I HATE the internet! I hate that it makes me desperate; I hate that it takes up so much of my mental processes; I hate that I have to use the damn thing for pretty much everything I used to be able to do on the telephone (remember that archaic word?) but most of all I loathe, damn and detest the internet for the way it makes me feel.
How can an inanimate piece of machinery trigger such strong negative emotions in me? How can the failure of a lump of metal, plastic and electronic wizzardry to do what it is supposed to do reduce me to a gibbering, Neanderthal-like state in a matter of minutes? And, worst of all, why does that same piece of machinery I have called all of the most insulting names I can think of, thrown all of the worst expletives at I can bring to mind and which I have belittled in the most withering language I know produce such euphoria by simply doing what it's supposed to fucking do in the first place?
Before the internet I was sane; at least as sane as I needed to be to function in a society that didn't make too many demands of me with its technology. Nowadays, who knows? Am I any different to you, because I've seen you lose the plot. I've heard the way you shout and scream at and curse your equipment when it's not playing the game... You see, the rub is that you and me, we're just the damn same when it comes to the internet!