(though not necessarily in that order)

(though not necessarily in that order)

Monday, 4 January 2010

Why I love the internet

I am not very old compared to lots of people, but I can remember a time when we were really "modern" having a computer at home, and internet. Even in 2002 when I did my GCSE in ICT, I can remember the frustration with everything not working. I found the printed out coursework this week, and it looks very dated.

Anyway, since then, internet has got much bigger, and I'm very glad for that.

I first started using the internet regularly when I was about 15, joined forums - one for mental health, and one for music. I still go on both, as well as various other forums and other things too.

I'm boringly stereotypical in that I like the internet as it means I don't have to interface with people. People say high functioning autistics like the internet for exactly that thing, so maybe I'm "normal within the HFA population" in that respect.

If it weren't for the internet, my life would be much more solitary than it is. My "social" events usually include the internet in some way - from playing music to going and just being with people (usually including drinking, either tea or alcohol!).

The internet has downfalls, my "obsessive and compulsive behaviours" revolved around the internet for years. It meant I was spending hours and hours each day getting more and more stressed and frantically reading news websites about deaths, bad situations (abuse, attacks, injustices in lots of areas of the world) as I believed I needed to know these things that were happening. I believed I was causing every bad thing in the world. It lead to me being in a hugely desperate state, and being put on a horrible psychiatric ward when I should have been revising for my A level exams. I was basically told not to go on the internet, as they believed this was causing my "mental illness to overwhelm my life". (the quotes in that are from doctors involved in my case at the time)

Anyway, the internet is getting much more positive for me. On an average day, I will speak to many more people online than in real life. That is the way I like it, and the people I speak to online lots are basically my friends. And that is the way I like it. My mobile phone contacts list contains more online people than "real life" people (a weird term for people who you interact with in real life, rather than those online) even though I have lots of emergency people in the list in case I ever need anyone (mostly my parent's friends).

Yesterday, I posted on a music internet site about people doing a piano duet with me at a music event (arranged completely online) later on in the month. Within a day, I have 4 duets sorted out to play, just because the internet has facilitated it.
On the same site, I mentioned I had been playing a piece of music - the Finzi Bagatelles for Clarinet and Piano. I was actually saying I wasn't very good at singing-and-playing whilst sight reading, but someone replied today saying that the Finzi "is covered in ink" and that I must be "a very useful pianist" for playing it. I laughed, as it made me think of "really useful boxes", and I've never been described as very useful before. I use the really useful boxes for my stationery supplies, and they are indeed, really useful! I like the idea of being very useful.

Shortly after this, someone (a clarinettist, who due to a comment I posted a few months back, knew I lived in a nearby village to her) sent me a private message, saying she would enjoy playing them with me, and could we meet up to do so? Without the internet, I wouldn't have a date in about a month's time to play music with someone else who enjoys music. I'm quite excited!
Before that date, I've got 2 other music events that are arranged through the internet.

Another positive of the internet is my studies. I started with the Open University just over a year ago, and wouldn't have managed that without the internet. Web design without the internet is quite redundant. Or I wouldn't have managed to contact my tutor with ease, or spent time discussing subjects with other people on the same courses as me.

I love the internet, and I'm sure I'll think of many more reasons as I think about this more.

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