I once knew my way around computers and the cyberworld. I bought an Apple Macintosh the day they went on the market. Superbowl Sunday, 1984—I went down to the new Mac store, which opened at halftime, was their first customer… I was stunned at how much text I could store on a 3.5-inch floppy (so much more power than my Brother 8400 word processor.) A few weeks later, I helped design, install, and facilitate the Macintosh writing lab at Colorado State University.
I could dive under the hood of any Mac and transform the critter into a supercharged beast—hardware and software.
Today, I don’t know squat.
I do know this: the cyberworld has gotten scary. Too many people who surf the internet want to do harm—the reason I left Facebook in December. I don’t like big corporations digging into my data to sell to other corporations, which then feed me a bunch of advertising trash on every web site I visit, and which also load up my email inbox with junk.
I got back on a few weeks ago, because I did my homework and got up to speed with the latest web browsers, and which ones offer ways to keep my data relatively more secure than other web browsers.
Some browsers keep soaking in the cookies, even after I’ve reset and cleared my cache. It was weird, cleaning out the program, and then watching links pop into the data box before I could navigate to a different preference setting.
I am stunned at how Facebook has become more than just a household name. For many, it has become the main occupation of the home computer—and the work computer. For most, it is a daily routine. For too many, it’s a lonely way of life.
I feel sorry for the folks who continually post what they’re doing at any given moment, and who finally log off with, “Well, need to go to bed. See ya’ll tomorrow.”
I don’t have the time. After perusing the blogs which I follow, I’ve spent plenty of time on the internet. I prefer the blogsphere to Facebook. And for the past month I’ve spent far too much time downloading copies of ancient alchemy and occult texts, which I’m using as research for my novel.
As much as I hate the internet, I also love it. Other than reading blogs, I scour web sites for research resources. I do not trust Wikipedia. Unfortunately, most every web site I visit for research has the Facebook mentality. They want money. So, I drop a few bucks into their coffers, and I get to peruse the archives of e-texts at a particular university.
I don’t think I could count as high as the number of documents that have been scanned since I bought my first Mac in 1984.
When I deleted my Facebook account, which really never went away, no matter how much I tried, I swore I wouldn’t get back on. I lied, because the U.S. is going digital—newspapers, magazines, books, all the things I love to hold in my hands.
This time around, though, I want to see if I can get Facebook to work for me. Instead of two hundred eighty-three “friends,” I want to see if I can drum up some business. It’s a Friday night, and I’m at home writing a blog entry. I’m a musician. I should be playing a gig… not playing on the computer.
(Made up that word for the title. I have no idea what I want it to mean.)