I have a vague recollection of the first time I heard about the World Wide Web. I think it was around 1989, but I'm not certain about that. Of course back then it wasn't really world wide, but it sounded impressive, and whoever named it had more foresight than most. It wasn't something I had access to until the early 1990's, but as it has grown at a geometric rate, so has my use of it.
Television was never an addiction for me. In fact I never had one throughout the 60's, 70's and 80's. I got my first TV about the time that I discovered the WWW. I should have saved my money. The Internet has become the heroin in my life, and my TV sits unused for months at a time. In retrospect, I'd be better off with only the TV. I say that having just spent a $167 on the WWW using my credit card number in the purchase of a set of 16 CDs that will teach me Spanish.
It was definitely an impulse purchase, as I am prone to do. Prior to the Internet I had to go to a mall or some specific store to browse around for my impulse purchases. Now I can sit at my computer and spend money without even putting clothes on. And the stores that I can browse are not limited to reasonable driving distances. I can browse world wide. I don't even know where it was I ordered the CDs. Perhaps I bought them from a store in Spain.
One night about a year ago I was getting frustrated with my computer and accessed the WWW to look at new computers. Two days and $3500 later my new computer arrived. Then there was the printer, the scanner, the Jazz drive, the digital camera, the external hard drive, new software ... Well, you get the idea. The only things I don't buy via the internet are clothes and food, and they are certainly available that way.
I get movie listings and times for all the theaters in my area, many of which I've never attended, and I check the next day's weather in places I know I won't be. Thanks to E-mail I haven't written a letter in years, and I now keep in touch with people that I don't even know. Today, using Instant Message technology, I chatted for 45 minutes with Donna, a woman in Texas who I'd never heard of before. (She is married with two kids and drives a school bus.) I maintain two web sites, and my e-mail list has almost 200 names on it. Recently I went on a week's vacation. Prior to going, I emailed everyone and said to not email me until I returned. Upon my return I had 145 emails waiting for me.
The only good thing about using the WWW is that I will be able to do it when I'm so old I can't walk. Or perhaps that isn't a good thing. A few days ago I ordered a trailer brake controller from Valley Vet Supply and it arrived today in the mail. It's very nice and was only $156. Now all I need is a trailer. I have been browsing for one.
PostScrip: I found a trailer on the web, but went in person to buy it, so I'm not totally webified.