Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Writing on Computers

I have been online since 1997. I resisted computers and the internet for a number of years, then finally caved in when we moved to the small town where I still reside. There isn't much going on here, and I don't have much in common with the locals, so accessing the internet turned out to be a God-send.

Being as I've never found it easy to locate friends with even vaguely similar interests in my immediate geographical location, the world wide web really did open up a lot of possibilities for me. I made friends with new folks and learned to communicate with more ease than I ever imagined myself doing. I found my "voice," and real-life social situations, while still sometimes awkward, became a whole lot easier in most cases.

One pet peeve of mine is being told by numerous people that no one can really write anything of worth without reverting to pen and paper. Perhaps that is true of some people, but there are exceptions to every rule, and I believe I am one of those exceptions.

Oh, certainly, I've learned a bit of internet shorthand here and there: BRB, LOL, ROFLMAO, WTF, OMFG, and the like, and I do use them now and then. But by and large, I have never learned the "art" of the misspelled, badly punctuated, poorly constructed e-mail "postcards" an awful lot of people seem to send.

Yes, I will send the occasional brief message consisting of one or two lines, but for the most part, most of my e-mails read the same way one of my letters would. I take care to compose an e-mail, and if I have time, I re-read it and check spelling, and tweak a word or phrase here and there. No paper is wasted, no trees are killed, and in the end I am pleased with my efforts.

I can and do really write on a computer, and have been doing so since approximately 1986. I only resort to pen and paper when I have no computer access, and then, as soon as I can get my hands on a computer again, whatever I wrote on paper gets entered and saved as soon as possible.

I realize what works for me may well not work for other folks. They may have their paper and pen, and more power to them.

As for me, I will stick to my computer. It has been at the heart of many friendships I have established over the years, including one that began just a year ago tonight.

Information, communication, the world at my fingertips: it's a Good Thing. :-)

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