Jan. 7, 2011
In the summer of 1994, my friends Jennifer and Steve and I sat in a booth at Jerry’s Deli having breakfast. Jennifer, always an early adaptor of technology, was explaining the concept of home computers to us. Steve and I were not just late adapters, we were naysayers: Steve was a cynic, and I was slow to embrace any kind of change.
Jennifer explained that in the not too distant future, we would all have our own computers at home and use them for everything. I needed to know what kind of everything she meant. She explained that we would talk to each other on the computer, shop, watch TV shows, and meet new people, among other things. This was ridiculous to me. I already had a phone, I shopped in stores, I had a TV, and the idea of meeting strangers on a computer was creepy. Why would I need my own computer?
Steve supposed he could see people using more of them in offices but didn’t see the merit of having your own machine in your house. Would we all receive our own jetpacks, too?
Jennifer shook her head, rolling her eyes at these ludites.
Of course, she was right. At the time, I was still mystified at the technologies behind the answering machine and the VCR. It would take awhile for me to catch up, but eventually, I did.
Computers, and more specifically the Internet, have changed my life in ways I could never imagine.
I have welcomed old friends back into the fold through the miracle of social networking. I may not need to know via Facebook that my fourth grade friend Eric Kubota has a sinus infection this week, but I like to know. I also love all the updates and family photos, not just from Eric, although his kids are adorable, but from all my friends.
I have also launched the latest incarnation of my writing career through blogging. What originally started as a writing exercise has since given me a forum for my work, and a boost in the publishing world.
Today, I also do the majority of my non-food shopping on the Internet. I'm not a recreational shopper; I don’t love malls. But I do love buying things quickly while wearing pajamas, and having my purchases sent to my home with very little effort on my part.
I met my husband through an online dating site. Meeting new people via the computer was only mildly creepy, but this guy was obviously a keeper. My husband (first date number 53) and I eloped, and our Vegas wedding was simulcast on the Internet for friends and family to see.
My online life and blog introduced me to a world of friends I would never have met otherwise. I have met folks from around the world, and people who have become in-real-life friends who constantly make my life richer.
It’s sometimes annoying, but my friend Jennifer is usually right about everything. If you are lucky enough to have your own Jennifer in your life, listen up. She’s knows what she’s talking about.
—Lisa is a former comedy writer for television. She now writes about her funny family at her blog Smacksy.com.