He hated how much time I spent alone in front of my computer screen. Of course, as you know, I am an old ass millenial, so I was using the internet back in the late 90s, when all you really could do was go into chatrooms…But I was hooked on the internet the second it entered my brother’s room. Why did HE get the computer?! Eventually, it moved downstairs to the living room, but..anyway. I would spend all my free time on AOL, tying up our phone line, and chatting with strangers in weird chat rooms. I loved to go into the Investment Chat and talk to adults. I’d just troll them and say dumb shit. They ignored me. Maybe they blocked me. My dad told me to get offline and go outside. He liked doing gardening and reading books. He liked learning things. He liked running. He died before smart phones, and even long before social media. i like to imagine that if he were alive today, he’d just have some dummy Facebook account to appease the masses. Like what I tried to do for awhile, before I just went off my rocker and deleted all my social media (which turned out to be the most liberating thing I’ve done in a long time, but it was sure hard to explain to people. Then you stop caring. The world goes on and honestly, people stop asking. Sometimes they get a little jealous that you escaped the beast. Sometimes they think you’re crazy. 100% of the time, it doesn’t matter what they think. I wish it were easier to not care what people thought of what I did. It’s getting a little easier with age, because I start to realize….my dad was right about a lot of things, things I am realizing with age. I’ll probably outlive him. I’m probably going to live to 41. Maybe I miss him because I feel like maybe he’d ‘get’ me. But maybe if he lived longer, he’d also understand a bit of my internet addiction back in those days. I found so many ‘soulmates’ online. It was back when the social misfits used the internet, not the normal people, so I made a lot of friends. Hell, the internet was my safe space. But then I wonder, was I really such the social misfit I thought I was? Was I really sooooo different, and incapable of making real life connections? The internet shut me off from the real world in a pretty profound way. It took years to learn how to really socialize. But now I talk to people and they have convos with me while they stare into a mini internet device.
My cell phone battery lasts for days now. I then realized it’s because i barely use the cell phone anymore. I am the girl who used to tie up the phone line for hours. Now I’m the girl who wants nothing to do with carrying the internet with me 24/7.
I like checking the internet here and there. I like watching youtube videos to learn Spanish. I like how I can buy stock online from home. I hate thinking that in 5 years my nieces will be glued to Iphones.
I wish I could show my dad the garden I grew last year, and maybe he’d grow one with me. It’s weird that you never really stop missing people. Life is a weird thing.