Kicked the Internet addiction January 30, 2006
I realized the other day that I am no longer addicted to the internet. It was fun while it lasted, but then you get bored. You see the same stuff everywhere (excluding the personal sites).
It wasn't a very long lasted addiction. During my senior year of high school (1996-1997) was when it started. I would go on our dial-up to Prodigy and go into chat rooms, because that's really all that Prodigy had, as far as I was concerned. I'd chat with people, meet "girls", talk up my mad guitar skillzzz, exchange emails, etc. Then came college.
I wasn't a very education oriented person. I found nothing in high school that interested me (except physics and math of course), so I had average grades (except in physics and math of course). By the end of high school, I was getting good grades because I basically beat the system. I knew how to do the minimal amount of work and still pass with Bs. This didn't necessarily involve studying, neither did it involve cheating... basically, I just paid attention in class and did the homework. Most of the time. See, Bs didn't require full attention and one hundred percent complete assignments. It was fun. So, when I got into college, I had to go to a "summer school" of sorts. You go there for the summer, take 3-4 classes a day, and if you pull a 2.5 average, you're in for the fall. Well, this summer, as you can imagine, was a blast. 2.5 is lower than a B! I was and probably always will be shy. However, I saw a kid there that I knew I could be friends with. One day I saw him on the computer in the computer lab, so I went in and joined him. I noticed he was in a chat room, so I asked him what chat room he was in, and he told me. We hit it off after that, being roomates for two semesters, one of which being "THE semester". Tom and I got our best grades ever during college our first semester together (Spring '98). We had Computer Science I (one) together. I whooped in that class. Put it this way, when the final came around, I was the first to hand it in, 15 minutes after I started, and Tom said it was 20 minutes before anyone else left. I aced it. I ended the semester with a 3.5 average or something. I was taking other courses, like writing and Calculus II. While Calc was extremely interesting, it was a B@#%@!! So, I got out of that year, and into the next semester, "THE semester".
The Fall 1998 semester started off really bad. During the summer I was working for my Dad as the assistant to the computer guy, saving up money to buy a computer. I got it later that summer, and that's when my life ended. Basically. The Fall '98 semester was not my best one. In fact, it was by far the worst. We're not talking "missed a few classes" here. We're talking, from around late September til the end of the semester, I went to a handful of classes. I was nocturnal. During one stretch, I slept 12 hours a day. I was the bomb that semester though, both socially and electronically. Socially, I was friends with everyone on the floor. Our room was the hangout. We'd have people in there at all hours. Our most was 14 people at one time. Electronically, I was the bomb too, as I had downloaded software (I forget what it's called) that allowed you to run a P2P server. I had so many people on that server, downloading files, uploading files, chatting with each other, leaving me messages, etc. All told I left that semester with about $12000 worth of software that was not paid for, and about 1500 mp3s. (I should mention that I no longer found any of that software useful and deleted it all).
This server ended my chance to graduate college ever. Or so I thought.
After that semester, I convinced my parents to let me go back to school. Luckily, they bought it. I went back and graduated with a B+ in my field of study, so it worked out. That semester was also my enlightenment period. I had Computer Science II, and was completely lost. However, towards the end of the semester, just playing around (because I didn't go to classes, but still loved writing programs), I became enlightened to Object Oriented Programming with C++. The s@#%@ just made sense after that.
That was pretty much the strongest point of my internet addiction. After that, it dwindled down to what it is today, where I can't f@#%$#$!$12 stand the internet. I can read the news though, or a handful of personal sites that I visit, or slashdot, but if I find myself just clicking s#@%$ mindlessly, I'll just walk away most of the time. The other times, I'll close my browser and do something else, like program. Or play a game. Or go outside and play with the dog.
That's one addiction that I'm happy to get rid of -- the internet in general. I have to kick this email addiction next. I check 34,859 times a day. Although, I will easily go a few days without it, so it might be a matter of just throwing out my cable modem. Share or link your stories below!