ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Surfing the Net

Updated on April 21, 2016
Stella Kaye profile image

Stella has written a selection of articles on dating and relationship issues that include sound advice for online daters,

Am I becoming addicted to the Internet?

Source

Caught in the net

It was 2005 and I had resisted temptation for as long as possible, knowing that my writing would most likely suffer if I became an Internet subscriber. I thought the monthly subscription was rather a lot and our household would soon get bored with it and cancel The kids kept nagging me to sign up and I eventually succumbed, reasoning that I hadn't managed to do any writing anyway, Internet or not. I frequently suffered from scrivener's palsy, a dreadful affliction peculiar to writers - more commonly known as writer's block.

I've always had a built-in resistance to change and by 2005 I was still writing with my rusty but trusty Amiga computer which was brand new when I purchased it back in 1991 (it may well be the only one still in existence, the rest of its kind most likely consigned to landfill long ago.)I was loath to get rid of anything useful and it was still good for writing poetry, articles, short stories etc. (not to mention the very occasional novel).

I did have a bang up to date PC but the problem with that was in actually gaining access to it. At that time my ex husband was trying to sell his entire model railway collection on E bay, my two sons had signed up to interactive Star Wars games and my two teenage daughters were eagerly sending instant messages to their increasing collection of contacts round the globe. They even had their own web sites. Did I stand a chance? I wondered. No, but I had a solution... if the ancient Amiga packed up I would take myself along to Dixons and treat myself to a brand new laptop.

But before that I could still become au fait with the workings of the Internet while the kids were at school and hubby was at work. What greater distraction could there be from doing mundane tasks round the home now I had this new toy? Let the dishes mount up and the ironing wait for I was surfing the net.

What fun! I could type in any postcode and sneakily find out what the neighbours paid for their house. I could discover anything about anyone. Daunting, frightening even - I could now dig up the past relentlessly if I wished.

I wondered what had happened to that doctor I was dating at the same time I met my husband? I typed in his name... wow! I couldn't believe it there was a photo of him here...

Yes that's him, I thought, look at all those letters after his name! Well, he may be an eminent surgeon now with his very own private clinic but he hasn't discovered a cure for baldness yet that's for sure - he was bald when I knew him back in the early eighties. Blimey... look at all those medical books he's written specialising in heart surgery... bet he's worth a bob or too... trust me to marry the wrong man!

Curiosity took hold and I typed in the names of just about everyone I've ever known and they all appeared to have done better for themselves than me. So then I felt decidedly despondent. Bet I've done more dishes than the lot of them put together I muttered to myself disdainfully. Ah, yes I have always blamed the dishes... they are the bane of my life, and I shall curse them forever for my perpetual obscurity.

I breathed a sigh of relief when I found out that none of the schools I had attended have produced any famous pupils yet...

Oh, so I still have a chance to become the first then, once I get that novel sorted.

I delved even deeper into the past... now what treachery is this? I wondered. I went into a state of blind panic when I discovered an old black and white school photo on friends reunited. Class of 68... Albert Road Junior School...

yes, that's may class, I mused. There's my teacher and all my school chums, but I'm nowhere to be seen and I swear I've never set eyes on this photo before... how could this be? They are all there... Pam Dixon, Rob Marks, Mary Dobbins but no ME! What is wrong? Where am I? Have I opened a window to some parallel universe where I have never existed?

In desperation I phoned my elderly Mother for an explanation and as always she provided me with the correct answer. "Well dear, it's obvious isn't it? You must have been absent from school on the day the photographer came, so there was no need for me to buy the photograph!"

Now, why didn't I think of that? Perhaps I'd been getting too paranoid for my own good, since I'd been visiting those David Icke conspiracy theory websites.

More fun followed when my two daughters persuaded me to put a profile on a well-known dating website. I was blatantly honest about my age and even submitted a genuine, recently taken photo. I made no attempt to airbrush out my wrinkles or make my thighs appear any thinner than they actually were. Hardly anyone was remotely genuine and I soon discovered that it was possible to chat to Julius Caesar, Cleopatra and a wealth of Napoleons all in one evening. I enjoyed it though, sending instant messages round the world at the touch of a button and soon I was getting more attention than my teenagers.

Hmmm... I could have done with this Internet thing years ago, I thought, bemoaning my misspent youth, but never mind there was life in the old girl yet and it was obvious there was a surplus of younger men out there more than willing to travel any distance to make an older woman happy.

But I decided to put the toy boys on hold for a while, reasoning that too much too soon might be dangerous for a woman fast approaching 50, so I went for the wiser option of meeting men of my own age. After meeting several I gave up, reaching the conclusion that most of them already had one foot in the grave and were totally boring. But at least I had been brave enough to meet up with them in the first place and I felt quite pleased that I'd tried to make new acquaintances, whereas my two daughters are still just toying with the idea.

I received a phone call from an old school pal now living in America. "Have you got the Internet yet?" she asked. "I've typed in your name on Google and I've read some of your writing on there.

"Writing? What writing? I've never put any on there... someone must have plagiarized me," I replied, to my horror. Then I realised I'd submitted several short stories to a competition a few years back and someone at my writing group had said they would post them on the Internet.

Ah...this must be the writing she means; I managed to figure out after her call, then I typed in my name and there it was! Wow! Fame at last (well sort of!) I'd have discovered the stories were there myself if I'd initially typed in my own name rather than delving into everyone else's past! At least I could derive tremendous satisfaction from the fact that anyone in the world could now read my writing if they so wished. The Internet has certainly proven it's worth. Maybe I would finish that novel one day after all... but I still had quite a bit of surfing to do to first...

© 2015 Stella Kaye

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • Stella Kaye profile imageAUTHOR

      Stella Kaye 

      3 years ago from UK

      Thanks for the above comments which are very much appreciated.

    • mashgibson profile image

      mashgibson 

      3 years ago

      I think its good to try new things and grow with times. It is not a sin to own a computer. I was also scared of a computer, thinking that i may create a viras by touching wrong buttons. How foolish i was, but now i know better.

    • mactavers profile image

      mactavers 

      3 years ago

      I have a neighbor who is still resisting buying a computer. Her reason, "Computers are anti-social." So every time, she needs a part, a new book, or to look at pictures of old friends or family, she asks me to do it!

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)