This month, it will be 15 years ago since I set my first steps on the World Wide Web. My Hotmail account records my first email on 1 February 2000. I still have that account, and it is active. Also active is my pharmolo account with AOL; any email that comes into that inbox is automatically redirected to my adb422006 account with Gmail. An email account with Yahoo is only used because of its link to my Flickr photo accounts. I set it up whilst staying in a place which blocked the AOL website.
I joined AOL for its dial-up ISP service in April 2004,
and brought me the first experiences of social networking on-line. The
News Debate Chat was a rough and ready affair, invaded at times by the
less appetising elements in British society. Following my relocation to
Scotland in the summer of 2004, this fell by the wayside for a while, as
I changed to blogging.
AOL Journals allowed me to record my
travels in the north of Scotland in the summer and autumn of 2004. A
year later, the much maligned VIVI awards introduced me to the circle of
journalers; the untimely death of Pam (his1desire) at Easter 2006
turned me into a full member of Jland.
Jland ceased to exist in
October 2008, after AOL decided to scuttle its journals division. A fair
few of us migrated to Blogger, but many others abandoned the community.
My fifteen years on-line has seen a marked change in my personal
circumstances, much of which I have decided not to discuss on here.
Reading back through the emails from 2000 to 2015, I can see that quite
clearly. The biggest shock, which I did share, was the death of my
mother, now nearly 7 years ago. I tend to operate on a "live by the day"
basis, which means I do not make a forecast for the next few years.
Internet has proved an invaluable source of information to me, and a
way of meeting new people, new friends. The Internet has also caused me a
fair bit of distress, both directly and indirectly. Not all my friends
understand the concept of social networking involving people you have
not met, and are unlikely to ever meet. The Internet has an extremely
unpleasant dark side to it, the least manifestations of which are the
spam emails. However, it is here, and here to stay.