Thursday, November 6, 2008

A brief history of Nora and the internet

1991: First assignment as college freshman is seminar requirement to "send an email" to the professor. You know, to show that incoming students can keep up with the latest technology.

1991-1995: Email obsessed. Black screen and green flashing cursor seem key to existence. First evidence of pre-blogging tendencies emerge as Nora spends hours crafting clever emails to random friends; waits anxiously for replies/love/adoration/laughs/really response of any kind.

1996-1998: Remain email obsessed. Death of Princess Diana prompts wandering into world of internet news.

1999-2002: Remain email obsessed. Discover "internet" as time waster: games, news, clickthroughs to wormholes to who knows where. Pre-blogging tendencies becoming stronger. So much so that Nora gets herself a job as a medical writer/editor. Discovers writing about cancer does not quite scratch pre-blogging itch. New York Times becomes personal home page. Boyfriend tells Nora about thing called "Google" which really does search better than AltaVista or Ask Jeeves. Nora is in meeting at Federal gubmint where smart contractor tells fancies to please please PLEASE consider buying "cancer.gov" and fancies are all, why? Who cares? What's with this "internet" thing anyway?

2003: Nora marries nerdy technology man who had three-pound laptop back before she had completed her email homework assignment and cannot live without wireless and broadband and such. Nora remains email obsessed, though less so since no longer waiting for true love to appear in inbox. Can now check email and growing list of bookmarks while on couch. Remains surprised that she is not being discovered/signed to book deal/shipped large piles of cash via her clever emails. Reverts to games.

2006: Nora has baby. Doesn't know how her foremothers survived without internet. No longer email obsessed as increasing number of emails require her response and, like, work, and stuff. Nora accepts that the email ship has sailed for her; converts internet addiction to news, parenting, baby item shopping. And games. Disovers food blogs. Likes, does not contribute.

2007: Nora discovers the mother blogging community via Amalah, whose older boy is almost one year exactly older than Hugo. Throws hat in ring with zero thought to consequences. Uses random word generator to name blog, like idiot. Blog obsession replaces online games, email.

2008: Historic election year. Nora is election-obsessed. Discovers political blogs. Discovers Facebook. Discovers blogs that are not about being a mother or politics. Is mildly surprised that these blogs exist.

2008: Doesn't know how to end this post. NaBloPoMo and election make brain fuzzy.

12 comments:

lapoflux said...

I too would not have survived a newborn without the internet. I wish I had discovered mommy blogs sooner!

I often wonder what I would get done in a day without the internet to distract me. It's probably better that I can't quantify it!

Mary Alice said...

Sadly, my babies were born prior to the internet! I had to go outside and walk uphill five miles, through the snow, bare footed, just to talk to another adult. It was hell :-)

Caffienated Cowgirl said...

Ah yes...those first emails. I remember how not-so-high-tech they seem now. But they hooked me too.

While my son was born when blogging was young, I had never heard of it. Although a friend of mine at the time was traveling the world on her own and sending email accounts home...I knew I wanted to do something like that...it was only a matter of time before I first began blogging...with a food blog!

ellen said...

I slogged like mary alice, though without a computer. I had to carry my black and white t.v. and reel to reel tapes with me. Oh, boy.

Jodi said...

Before Al Gore invented the internet we moms just yacked on the phone all day. When the cordless phones came out...oh boy...we could give our kid a bath and talk on the phone at the same time...bliss.

phd in yogurtry said...

so whopping cornbread was, truly, randomly generated? haha! I love it!

Did it make you go out and experiment with cornbread recipes? Do you even like cornbread? (My husband and kids LOVE IT but I am able to pass on the cornbread, though not much else with the word "bread" in it).

phd in yogurtry said...

Oh and I wanted to say that your chronology almost exactly follows mine. I was emailing as a grad student in 1989-90. I had only one friend who had a .edu email address (another grad student) and I can remember being SO excited to have ONE email in my box. Those were the days, sigh.

My friends at the time, who had long ago given up college and had settled into marriages and kids thought I was some geek-freak sending mail by computer.

phd in yogurtry said...

Maybe it was 1990-1991? Can't remember. Sorry to keep posting. I will stop now.

Lisa Milton said...

My computer has been acting wonky lately and I reminded my husband that my mental health depends on that laptop.

Better than therapy.

(I think we are all a little off, with all these posts and the election buzz.)

Jenn @ Juggling Life said...

Given my present tendencies I think my kids are lucky I didn't really get serious about the computer until they could all feed themselves.

wheelsonthebus said...

i find it amazing to think about the difference in the world since the internet blossomed while i was in college

Melissa said...

"Is mildly surprised that these blogs exist." -Lol!