I am an admitted internet addict. I laugh in the face of those surveys that ask me to estimate the time I spend online. It’d be easier to estimate the time I spend offline. Admittedly, a lot of that online time is due to work, but still. I am online a LOT.
And you know what? I don’t feel bad about that. At all. The internet age has, by and large, brought nothing but good things to my life. Aside from the obvious convenience aspect (looking at you, Amazon Prime), living in an e-connected world has had a profound impact on my life.
It’s allowed me to run my own business.
I’ve been a full-time, self-employed freelancer for nearly 10 years now. Would this have been possible without the internet? Not by a longshot. Being able to communicate through email, having a website to attract clients, social media to connect with clients, and online job listings to find clients: all of those would be out the window. Not to mention being able to accept payments online. Without the internet, I would likely be working a 9-to-5 at some sort of design agency, having to deal with a commute and a boss and generally lacking all of the perks I enjoy working at home. We probably wouldn’t have Sienna, as neither of us would be home during the day. And I certainly wouldn’t have my side business, as the entire shop is online, and I first learned how to screenprint by looking it up online.
I’ve met most of my close friends through it.
If you take away blogging and Meetup, I basically wouldn’t have any friends in Austin. A very few people from high school and college that also ended up down here would still be around, but pretty much everyone else currently in my life would not be. I met two of my bridesmaids through blogging and blogger events. I met another one through a friend that I met in a writer’s Meetup. Other friends I’ve met through freelance groups and networking things: all organized online. You take away the internet, and you take away the modern day adult’s best way to find new friends. I would certainly been at a loss after moving to Austin if I didn’t have that option.
I met the man I married through it.
I have no idea what my romantic life would look like today if it weren’t for online dating. Not only did the experience of trying online dating teach a few valuable lessons, but it’s how I met Ian. You know, that good-looking guy I just married in September. 🙂 The chances of us meeting without the internet were pretty much nil, given where we each lived at the time and our very different work situations.
All that taken into consideration, I would say the time I spend online is worth it. Regardless of how much of that time might be aimlessly trawling Facebook and Twitter. 🙂
Are you an internet addict, too? Has it changed your life, for better or worse?