Getting Wired

It finally dawned on me that I am a certified netizen.

In the past, I would have withdrawal symptoms on only one, and only one instance: when I haven't visited a bookstore or a library in a week's time. Today, not having logged into the net can produce the same sweating palms, generally uneasiness, a sense of foreboding, you get the drift. I can not get things done anymore without logging on to the net! To get updates I have to download. To work on a file, I have to access my yahoo accounts. To talk to people, I have to buzz them at ym! To look at pics, I have to...arrgggggggh.

I guess the signs were all there all these time. For example, to be able to have meaningful contact with an officemate on the other side of the floor I have to first text him, and then we log on to ym to talk. To get to talk to another friend who in Makati who is a certified night owl, I have to log in at night, get connected to Binondo (where my ISP is), log on to Atlanta Georgia or Oslo, Finland (IRC undernet server), and then go to a channel to locate him. My friend’s telephone line is connected to the internet from 8:00 pm up so talking on the phone is out of the question. The channel, incidentally, is in Manila. Whew.

My students (both present and former) track each others' whereabouts on the net. Two particular former students (one in Australia and the other in Pasig) throw emails back and forth every ten minutes or so, as if they are passing on notes to each other in the classroom. And they send the emails to a loop of about 5 people. So you can just imagine what it feels like downloading 20 emails representing bits and pieces of a conversation in progress. Good thing is there is a thread that one can follow if one feels in the mood to eavesdrop on a conversation. Otherwise...well, deleting the whole thing is just one click away.

I tell you information technology is reshaping the way we live.

It does get the complicated simple but unfortunately, it also complicates the simple. Consider this: one can send and receive documents, pictures, programs to and from anywhere in the world, access all kinds of information, chat with anyone anywhere in the world, etc., all in a matter of seconds. But on the other hand, it reduces communication to typing messages on a keyboard and reducing feelings to drawing figures or cryptic descriptions. And thats the obvious part.


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