Growing Up Via the Internet

I’ve been thinking about the Net again recently.

The last five months I’ve been a pretty busy guy – new home to deal with, new living situations (Richmond SUCKS! Yeah!), and a lot more work than I had a year ago at this time.

A lot more work. This evening, Jean and I were playing some backgammon in the back, and while she ran off to answer the phone, I realized something – compared to a year or two ago, I don’t spend nearly as much time “socializing” on the Net anymore. My ICQ time back then was legendary – sometimes 4-5 hours a day, mostly in multichat sessions. Going back even further (say 1995, 1996), and IRC was my time waster – all social, all chat, all the time.

I also spent quite a bit more time on my email… at any given time 2 years ago, I bet I spent at least 2 hours a day on social email. Heh. I even remember… there was one person who used to exchange literally dozens of emails per day with me.

But these days I simply can’t find the time. As my little business grows and I find myself delegating more and more work to others, I find a lot of my time is taken up on communication issues. My long, casual email convos have been replaced with long, detailed business emails with clients and subcontractors.

And I can’t help feeling a serious case of Deja vu.

I mean, I’ve been through all this before, haven’t I? It was called puberty, my teenage years, and adulthood.

Think about it. I remember how as a young teen, things were pretty casual, and my biggest time concerns were how I’d juggle baseball with rugby. I never heard the term “time management” and frankly, never knew the concept at this age. By the time I was in my second year at Carleton (my first year was an alcoholic haze, can’t believe I got the grades I did), I didn’t just know the term “time management”, I lived it. My entire life was organized around a little DayTimer book, and frankly there weren’t a lot of variances. I had become “responsible”.

So now as I type this, I’m reflecting back on a few things. My understanding is that you only go through these things once in life… unless you just give up and become some kinda street bum or something (like win the lottery). From the time you graduate, you’re supposed to be Mr. Responsible (or Ms.) and as you get older, the responsibilities increase. That’s what I always thought.

But the Net (not just the Web) has changed that, not only for me, but I suspect for many people.

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