I’m in media studies, but am still afraid of the internet sometimes

Call me chicken, if you like, but I have issues with commitment, committing to the internet, that is. It has been a 14-year relationship, and I’ve managed to stay at arms length. I remember the day we met like it was yesterday; my friend came over, cheeks flushed and excited, and started to introduce me to the wonders of ICQ. “It’s like e-mail, but in real time!” It all sounded so foreign to me. What was real time? Did I really need someone to reply to a message right away? Why do I need to talk to my friend online when she was right beside me? But, dear internet, once I started with instant messaging, I was hooked. In a way, I think it made my high school years even more interesting. Think of all the secrets we could now keep, the gossip we could spread at a much faster pace, and the people stalking we could do. My first boyfriend asked me out over cyberspace, and the words on the screen allowed the sensation to linger for as long as I wanted. It is also because of how we’re able to control the rhythm of a conversation, and the power of editing that real emotions got watered down.

As you upgraded, so did we, and it wasn’t long before people started building networks and blogs so that we were communicating with a big group of people instead of one at a time. Our lives are now as public as can be, and allow for different personalities to take on. We are no longer only concerned about how we are representing ourselves in the streets, at work, or at school; the online community can be just as judgmental, if not more so. The difference now is that the criticisms follow us home. We have so much access to our friends that when they don’t respond right away, we automatically think its intentional.

I’ve gone from ICQ to MSN, from Friendster to Facebook, from Xanga to Blogspot, and now WordPress. I’ve done my fair bit of juggling, but I’ve always been faithful to the idea of online communication. It’s strange that someone with so few words in person has so much to say online. Actually, it’s not that strange. I love how the extra medium it takes to communicate frees the flow of my speech. That is the main reason I’m drawn to you. I’m sorry I’ve neglected you in the past. I got scared because I felt like I was sharing too much. You used to drop me like a hot potato too whenever someone called, remember? I wanted to pull my hair out sometimes, but you’ve shown improvement, and now I can’t imagine life without you. And now, with my dream career about to take off, I want to show you my commitment by buying a domain. But, there’s that trust issue again and I can’t seem to take the next step, afraid of getting burned. Advertisers are more than willing to persuade and support me, whether it is to own web space or purchase from an online vendor like Etsy. I only ask that you don’t give up on me. I will get there one day.

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