I remember clearly when I purchased my first computer and went online with AOL, one of the only ways to get online at the time. I remember when it was a novelty to see a web address on a television commercial. I clearly remember life before the internet.
And sometimes I really miss it.
To be sure, there are things I like about being online. I like being able to Google just about anything I can think of and get an answer in 1.23 seconds.
I like meeting new people and reading new things.
But as I look at my bedroom bookcase full of books I haven’t read, I realize how much I miss just reading books. I still read a lot, but much more of it is online. And reading online doesn’t bring the same level of warmth and satisfaction as seeing a bookshelf full of books and remembering when I read each one.
I’ve met wonderful people online from literally all over the world. But I wonder how many people I haven’t met in real life because I was online.
I remember when it was an exciting novelty to get an email from someone. “You’ve got mail!” was something to look forward to instead of being another thing to be dealt with all day, every day.
I remember when I was a prolific letter writer in real life, sending out letters and notes on a regular basis. Now I send out quick notes made of electrons that lack warmth and the personal touch of a carefully selected piece of stationary or notecard.
I don’t know. For all I’ve gained from the internet, I am beginning to suspect that all of the promises it holds are somehow robbing me of things that are much more important to me. A disk full of emails has no charm like a stack of letters tied with a lovely ribbon. Caroline reading a copy of my blog someday will not be the same as reading a handwritten journal, another casualty of going electronic.
No neat and tidy wrap up with this post. Just things I’m thinking about today.