Friday, June 8, 2007

When You're Alone and Life is Making You Lonely

you can always go....ONLINE!

All due respect to Petula Clark, but a trip downtown for a show, bite to eat, parking and the gas needed to drive your lonely ass there and back costs about as much as a week in Hawaii at a 4-star hotel. So what's a needy, social creature like me supposed to do?

Telephone, you say.

True, I reply. But what about those nights when sleep eludes you at 2am, you are tired of listening to your new "Andre Previn Conducts the Russian Philharmonic" CD and you've finished off the latest Harry Potter? You can't just call up a buddy for a few laughs unless you are totally certain she or he is a chronic insomniac just like you. Kinda risky.

Cable television! you blurt. Yes, but television is a lonely sport, 550 channels aside.

DVD's, VHS!! you exclaim. Nope. Once again, all you need is Team One with that scenario.

We are not looking solely for entertainment or diversion. We are looking for the human element.

Think.

Voila, you say! The answer of course: the internet. It never frickin' sleeps and can serve up any dish you wish, any time of the night or day. An all night diner that's always crowded. The only thing you need to know is what you want to eat...and if you want to give out your real name with that.

You could certainly choose loftier pursuits, such as researching the origins of the universe, the real meaning of 6.02 x 10 to the 23rd power, why Thoreau went into the woods or if Abe Lincoln truly had bi-polar disorder....but why? Why, when there's a smorgasbord of chat rooms and on line fan clubs and other venues that feed our need for connection, even under an alias? There are few absolutes in this world, but one that holds true is the promise of the internet. You like baroque music, escargot and Mad Magazine? The internet has a site for you! Into Andy Williams, Night of the Living Dead movies and gene splicing? No problem. www.moonriver.dead.dna.com. Waiting for you...even at 2 am.

Good luck sleeping after that.

In my world, the discovery of the internet -- particularly e-mail -- was like eating lobster every night. I was able to keep in contact with friends and began savoring the use of the written word. E-mail has brought back the elegance of the letter, the note, the quick hello in our scattered lives. But while e-mail is instantaneous, it is also fleeting. I have an idea? I can burp that baby out over a telephone wire and someone in Liverpool, England can read it seconds later....and delete it seconds after that. Then it's gone. We'd never see the handwriting of our Founding Fathers if the Constitution had been e-mailed with an electronic signature.

But the internet is a glorious tool for keeping us connected in an ever-widening world. I've made wonderful new friends I never would have without the internet. I've learned things I never would have learned, saw things I probably never would have seen.

Downtown? Yup, downtown is great. The song says: "the lights are much brighter there and you can forget all your troubles, forget all your cares", but for my money nothing beats sitting in my own living room, reviewing the menu of the all night internet diner!

1 comment:

said...

Hilarious because it's true! I will defiantely keep coming back to read this blog!