Posts Tagged ‘limited access’

Here’s something I wrote for Yahoo about the pros and cons of limited Internet access. It was one of the first things I ever got paid to write and I immediately spent those $3 on paying for half of a sandwich.

al gore

I was the last kid on my street to get Internet access. I know this for a fact because my parents would have us sneak into the neighbor’s homes when they were away on vacation; this breaking and entering counting as my family’s vacation. Every home up and down Overton Road had Internet access. My dad finally began paying for Internet when I was in seventh grade. At first I was hooked, staying online constantly. Then I lived a few places without the Internet. I learned over time there are pros and cons when it comes to having Internet access readily available.

Pro: You have an excuse for not knowing everything in the world

The Internet has every piece of information available on it, the greatest of all being dirt on new people you meet. When you have access people expect you to take advantage of this readily available information. Telling people you don’t have the Internet at home provides the perfect excuse for not knowing big news or who the President of the United States is. It’s like being stuck in the 1920s minus the constant fear of a typhoid breakout.

Con: You have trouble discovering new things

The best way to find new music these days is searching on YouTube. Without the Internet it’s nearly impossible to find new music without a friend suggesting it. If your friends are anything like mine, they will suggest listening to “that new English singer, Sting.”

Pro: You don’t discover those new things

While you can find great new music you are also less likely to stumble across the bad stuff. I have no clue what Justin Bieber’s singing voice sounds like. I had such little Internet access during his rise to fame that he could scream for help from one room over and I would have no clue it was him. Why Justin Bieber is in my apartment screaming for help, that’s a topic for another day.

Con: Less contact with friends/acquaintances

I use social networking sites like Facebook to keep in touch with friends I am not likely to see in person very much. It’s a great way to not disappear off the face of the earth from them. When you can’t get online as frequently these friendships can lose their strength.

Pro: Less contact with friends/acquaintances

Some friends are lousier than others. When a friend you don’t like very much communicates via the Internet more than anywhere else, you have the perfect excuse to skip their birthday party, wedding, and possibly funeral. “Sorry. I haven’t been online” is a legitimate excuse in today’s world to miss out on everything.

Con: Lack of entertainment

A lot of my entertainment comes from the Internet. I stream radio stations, read blogs, and play fantasy baseball. Hey ladies, interested? Going online is a huge distraction that can numb your mind and take you away from the daily grind. Entertainment is highly underrated in our society. Something as simple as a picture of an angry cat gives people hours of enjoyment now. I may not agree with this, but that’s just the way it is.

Pro: Saving money

As is the case with everything in life, Internet access costs money. This was a big reason why I chose not to have it in my home. As a 22-year-old working part-time not making very much money and living alone, I had to pinch pennies wherever I could. There are plenty of free places you can use the Internet. Did you know libraries still exist? They have Internet access too. There are also coffee houses, restaurants, and a few other places that will let you steal their Internet. My personal favorite place is going to a hotel lobby. Not only do you get high-quality Internet access, nobody bugs you. I did this for an entire year whenever I needed to get online. If you decide to do this, make sure you never overstay your welcome. Sometimes I would stay in my car so the same hotel desk clerks wouldn’t see me coming in then leaving after an hour three days a week. After writing this section I now know what my ex-girlfriend meant when she called me cheap.

Con: People will think you are weird

Most people thought I was very strange when I would tell them I didn’t have Internet access. They would say it like the rest of me was so normal. Admittedly I am a bit of a blowhard. I don’t use iPods, I don’t watch current sitcoms, and I think baseball was better in the 1920s. There are still plenty of people in this country that don’t have Internet access in their home. The only reason I broke down and have it now is because the nearest library either never has access or the librarians give me dirty looks. Now with the Internet at home I can embrace the hermit lifestyle. It feels great. I wonder what the weather has been like this summer.

The first stage of death is denial. Isn’t that what Kurt Cobain keeps saying in Smells Like Teen Spirit at the end? “In denial! In denial!” I’m not sure. Kurt Cobain lacked speaking clearly even without a shotgun down his throat. Denying anyone of anything can be hurtful. You can deny people access to anything. You can deny yourself. Denials are all around us. I denied myself a shower this morning. I need to show up to work smelling as badly as possible. I want to be asked to go home for causing a distraction.

Why do denials happen? Jealousy! I blame everything on jealousy. A girl once denied me her phone number. She was jealous if we ever stood aside one another naked I might show her up. She was flimsily built. Her hair on par to a wet rat’s back. I only asked her for her phone number because she was Amish and I wanted to see if they were allowed to have phones. They’re not. They’re also not allowed to put me down nicely without laughing about it with their friends.

(Stop giggling about Mary turning me down and churn some butter you bitches)

Certain establishments must deny certain people admission. Back in the olden days women and minorities would not be allowed into some businesses. No longer is this the case. Now there are places where women and minorities only go. Women have their Coach Purse stores, their nail salons, and planned pregnancies. Minorities have their rap concerts, fried chicken joints, and cash checking centers. I’m allowed into each of these places. I would rather not go into any of them. Boredom and bullet wounds are always on the horizon. Bars do not allow people under the age restriction into their door. If you’re cute enough you can usually get inside despite being underage. Most bouncers are pedophiles. They only applied for the job because they thought it involved knee bouncing. Knee bouncing, the pedophile’s version of stamp collecting.

(Disgusting)

Only one building on earth has my picture placed on the wall behind the counter saying I may no longer enter. Next to my picture is one of Nelson Muntz and George Lucas. This place is a restaurant down at the Jersey Shore. During my early standup comedy days I thought being funny was saying words and phrases like “fart”, “vagina”, and “up your ass and around the corner” were a surefire way to get laughs. The owner of this restaurant/comedy club that can seat 20 jerk-offs did not appreciate my attempts at humor. He folded his arms to let me know he was angry and Italian then told me I was not welcome back. Since my email address at the time was Cheekstheclown, they assumed I would be some dorky clown who makes dumb animals. Now my email address is TimBoyle109. Does this mean I’m some dorky idiot mathematician?

(Nope, don’t see me. Why are the two black guys near each other? The one is sandwiched between two Asians. Why, because he can’t do it on his own and he needs some help from the Chinese? Such a racist cover)

I deny people things at times. I deny my dog food all the time. He’s always begging. He should be happy enough I allow him access to my bathroom to sleep in to beat the heat. Right now he’s lying by the front door wanting something. I can’t figure it out. He probably hears the ice cream truck. Christ he’s fat. I also deny people into my life a lot. It’s difficult for me to allow someone new to enter. Meeting someone new is work. You have to get to know everything about them and then accept their flaws. Yuck. It’s frightening. What if they don’t like me? What will they think of my strange moles? What will I think of their strange scars? How long into our friendship do I ask about them? This is why I can never make new friends. I jump too quickly to worry they have some murdering father after them who is coming to finish the job. I do not want to be collateral damage.

(I don’t want him to tug on my hair either. Hair pulling is only for the bedroom. Even then it’s annoying. Stop trying to seem tough. It’s hair. You’re not strong for being able to pull it ladies. It’s decided, I’m shaving my head)

A good undertaking we can all do is to deny less, invite more. Denying anything from your life can have reverse effects. You may binge on whatever bit of whatever it is you deny yourself once you get ahold of it. Most important you should not be in denial about yourself and who you are. This can leave you less aware. You become more vulnerable to the monsters out there in life. Get past stage one of death and this end of the world thing on August 9th will be a lot easier on you.