Going Online

I’ve been using the Internet for about twenty years now. After feeling somewhat isolated, I was drawn to it as a way of interacting with people. After experiencing a free-trial of a dial-up “online service”, I was hooked — chatting with people all over the country within text-based chat-rooms — it was thrilling in a way, and kept me up all night many times.

Eventually I became interested in the technical aspects of the Internet and downloaded all the software I could in order to learn how to use it: different operating systems as well as FTP/HTTP/IMAP/POP3/SMTP servers — and I’d create websites by writing raw HTML and spent a lot of time with photo-editing software. And pre-wifi, I networked our home computers with a hub (later a switch) after running some cat5 cable through the walls, and setup a Linux server on an older computer to connect them all to the Internet (later replaced with a hardware router).

At one time I even downloaded a program used for developing software, but found it too difficult to understand intuitively, so I gave up on it. Later on, after reading a few books on programming, I was able to revisit that topic and write my own software. I found it neat to write programs that could literally talk to the servers on the Internet. For example I’d send HELO to email servers to initiate a transaction.

I’ve been putting my thoughts on the Internet for all that time too. First in public chat-rooms, then personal emails, then on basic websites hosted by Geocities, then Blogger, and later on I’d sometimes post on forums. I took a few breaks from expressing my thoughts while I was busy talking to computers. But after I stopped engaging in the technical aspects of computing, I started posting thoughts again, first on Reddit and now on WordPress.

Today my daily use of the Internet consists of reading posts and comments on Reddit, but without posting or commenting myself — watching videos from channels I’ve been subscribed to for years on YouTube — watching shows or movies on TV-network/video apps — posting thoughts on WordPress — oh and checking the weather, I love weather radar and satellite maps.