One day last week, the plug for my MacBook melted and I was without the internet for an evening. it was agony. I literally didn't know what to do with myself – I ended up watching a documentary about how all the dinos died (a big asteroid, init), which was actually quite good. But the whole time I knew I was missing out and I was devastated.
The next day, despite being super busy, it being really cold and me being really tired, I waltzed all the way to Bristol (a 10min train journey and ~£5.45 taxi away) after work to the Apple store to get my charger replaced 'cause I knew I couldn't handle another evening without my laptop. The actions of a dedicated cyber-warrior or a desperate cyber-slave?
It made me think – no matter what I'm doing, my laptop, MSN and Firefox are always at hand. The first thing I do when I wake up before I even rub my eyes is reach over and grab my laptop from the floor – where I'd left it the night before, surfing hard up until I can barely keep my eyes open. Then another ten minutes. In fact, just last night, I found myself getting mildly frustrated that I can't use my laptop in the shower and thought for a good while about how rich I would be if I invented a reliable laptop boat (please don't steal that amazing idea).
Maybe it's just me – I've been lucky enough to have internet in my house since I was about 12 – it was terrible 56k speed but I found myself absorbing it and making websites in Microsoft's Front Page Express and saving them to floppy disk to upload on my neighbour's computer (he had some webspace and his internet was a bit faster – attempts include Star Wars Heaven and a Pokémon one that I can't remember the name of). Ten years later (christ) and I can't even remember what I did before the internet was at my command. What have I got to show for my mild addiction? I wonder how many hours I've used on the internet in my life – and for what? A couple of failed websites, a basic knowledge of HTML and an in-depth knowledge of internet slang and netiquette. Ten years that took.