Tuesday 11 November 2008

Internets, we love you!!!11!1

I seem to have developed insomnia. I was up till 4 last night so I thought I'd get a nice early night to compensate for it. And now? It's 1.30am and sleep is just not forthcoming.

The reason? I have been reminiscing. Big time. About the internet (how horrifically geeky is that?). I remember when my Dad first talked about getting the internet. I remember him signing up to Compuserve. It was 1994. I'd just started high school. I still wore jumpers that my Gran had knitted me for Christmas. I didn't have a clue.

Our first email address was 7 numbers! 7 numbers followed by @compuserve.com. How retro is that?!? Those were the days. Back when using the internet was unbelieveably expensive and my mother's cries of 'are you still on that bloody machine?' would ring through the house daily. I remember when you were happy if a website loaded in under 5 minutes. I remember how the internet would shut off if someone was trying to call the home phone number. And how devastatingly difficult it was to sign back on. We're utterly spoilt these days!

I've had an online presence for so long now it's like second nature. I've been on the internet for for than half my life! Crazy. There were the 4later* forum years (2000-2002 i think) where I was immersed in a surreal little world of social misfits and insomniacs. It was a Channel 4 forum for the people who watched the late night programming. It was a strangely comforting place, somewhere familiar to go and talk about absolutely anything. They were lovely people and we were like a little family in a way. I still speak to quite a few of them now. That's longevity for you in this transient online world. I even met my first love through that forum. Internet dating way back in 2001! He's married now, I hear. Strange. But that's a story for another day...

I did the Diaryland thing for a few years (where I met you). Then LiveJournal swept me off my feet. And now... here.

It's a strange place, the online world. But one that's provided me with a hell of a lot of support over the years. From the most unlikely of sources. I've been reading back over some old diary entries I made back in 2001 and man was I angsty! The whole world was on my shoulders and I wanted to make sure that everyone knew about it. I had some serious issues going on, looking back. And I think that's why I've always maintained some sort of online 'record'. To quote myself in 2001 - "I often wonder why we do it? Why do I write here? Am i doing it for attention? Do i want people to notice me? Do i think that my life is so important that others really want to read about it?"... Looking back, I think the reason is connection. Connection with other people when you don't feel able to talk to the people you see every day. Plus, I've always felt this weird compulsion to record things. To write things down for posterity. To create something tangible out of intangible memories.

I'm not really sure what the purpose of this post is or what I'm trying to get at. I think I'm just trying to say.... it's really nice to remember sometimes :)

I can't link to the actual forum as it was taken down yeeears ago. But that's a site one of the old forumers made, linking to everyone's journals, etc. See if you can spot me.