April 11, 2007 by Marj Hatzell
This Internet business is really far-out. I mean that in the nicest possible way.
I love the Internet. Whenever I do not know the answer to something or I am just curious (or have a morbid fascination with a particular topic) I just go to the Google and look it up. There are Web sites I stalk daily. There are friends’ blogs I read to get a glimpse of what makes their minds tick. There are sites I read for news and entertainment. There are contest sites I check out for the fun of it.
Movie tix? Check the times on Yahoo. Need the definition for a word? Dictionary.com. Need an encyclopedia? Wikipedia. Want to find a Web site? Google it.
I have so many bookmarks on my Firefox browser my husband cannot stand it. Firefox for him? Fuhgeddaboudit. He’s an IE guy all the way. I get to download all of the fun plugins and he can suffer for all I care. HA! Told him not to download the update for IE! It stinks!
The most interesting thing I have found are people’s blogs. Their personal insights to a variety of topics. I visit friends and strangers alike. I have found people from across the country that share the same issues, whether it be Autism, potatoes or distaste for 24 and American Idol (sorry, folks, cannot watch. And no matter what anyone says, I love Sanjaya!). I love the fact that I can look up the obscure medical issues my children face at the click of the button. I love that in addition to the local support groups I attend, I can find people from other states (and countries!) that are going through EXACTLY what I go through. Kinda. Except in a different place, with different weather and different types of hot sauce poured on their carpets and couches.
There are drawbacks. Writing a blog almost begs for comments. You have to take the positive with the negative. I have seen other people SKEWERED on their own personal sites. That is the risk you take when you put your private life on a very public forum. Other people do read this stuff. I have many more people lurking than commenting and that is ok. I am not sure I truly want hundreds of folks commenting anyway. You can not believe EVERYTHING you read on the net, some of this is absolute garbage. If you don’t believe that, I have this nifty little investment idea in Nigeria you might wanna check out.
This can be a dangerous tool, this World Wide Web. Children are stalked endlessly on it by predators. Heck, ADULTS are stalked. Your personal information can be put ANYWHERE. No site is truly secure. Even pictures of your children can be swiped and photoshopped into some nasty things (one of the reasons I took the pics of the boys down, I’ve seen what people do!). There are some real sickos out there.
But there are also great people. So many of the blogs I visit are a real network of support. Whether their cause is international adoption, terminally ill children, extreme medical issues, Autism, homeschooling, religion, you can find a great group of people that will stand behind you even though they have never met you. Heck, I found Flylady and trusted what she wrote and then found a fabulous group of women in the process. These girls would literally give you the shirts off their backs. They help each other out, make dinners, watch children, have coffee together, donate items to one another. A more fantastic group I have never met.
So, for all of its dangers and traps, this Internet stuff is pretty cool. It can open up a whole world to explore, if used correctly and in the right hands. For my Darling it is a way to drive me absolutely crazy shopping for cars and playing Miami Dice. Either way, I am glad I found ya!