You know, the biggest different I noticed between this election and past elections was how big a part the internet played. Not, like, in who won or anything (OR DID IT) but how much I relied on it to tell me things. I found out on Twitter that Obama had won Ohio before I found out on TV. WHAT KIND OF SORCERY IS THAT? I don't even know. All I know is that I love it, because four years ago I had to talk to actual PEOPLE IN PERSON on election night and that's super stressful, you guys.
Sometimes I think I'm maybe too reliant on the internet (um, maybe?) or that I have way too much of myself invested in it, but then I think I DON'T CARE I LOVE YOU INTERNET.
My love affair with the internet started in high school, or whenever we got our first magical AOL disc in the mail and I discovered there were other nerds out there who loved The X-Files as much as I did. Hell, even now the internet connects me to other nerds who love the same TV shows/movies/books that I do (see: Tumblr). I've met friends through the internet, hell, I met JOE through the internet, and I don't remember the last time I set foot in a mall because I do all of my shopping through the internet.
Right now, I'm reading Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Won't Stop Talking and it's like peeking into MY VERY OWN SOUL. The book begins with a helpful true/false quiz that you can take in case you're not sure whether you're an introvert or an extrovert, AS IF YOU DON'T ALREADY KNOW. I've known I was an introvert from the time I was old enough to vert at all but I took the quiz anyway. And, duh, it's all "Introvert City, population: ME" over here.
In the section I'm currently reading, the author talks a bit about how introverts love the internet. About how introverts, in fact, will share things on the internet that they'd never share with those they know in real life. And suddenly all of my years of blogging, of spewing verbal diarrhea all over your brains (sorry for that image), finally made sense.
I've often thought about giving up this little corner of the internet, but have never been able to make it stick. I've been blogging here for nine years now. NINE YEARS. I could be a doctor by now. But not THE Doctor (probably). I don't usually go back and read my archives, not unless I want to link to something or cringe so hard my face falls off, but there's a lot of my life in there. Almost a third of it! I love that it's a record of who I was, where I've been, who I've lost and loved and met along the way. I can't imagine it all disappearing. It's why I still have my childhood journals and stories.
I've always been a packrat, hanging on to stuff "just in case I ever need it," but when I was a kid, I'd go through phases where I'd try and purge my life of anything extraneous. I'd go through my room, which was always a hellish mess anyway, and, as I cleaned, I'd throw all sorts of things away. Letters. Cards. Homework assignments. Who knows what else. And I almost always regretted it later, when I was looking for something in particular, usually something silly, like a note my friend had given me in 3rd period.
So I don't do that anymore. I mean, it's not like our house is an episode of Hoarders or anything, but I'm more careful about what I get rid of. Which is why I love the internet. It's easier to delete stuff but it's also easier to protect it from fire, flood, or zombies. And even if you delete it, it's never really gone forever. It'll always be there, even if you can't get to it anymore, floating through interspace or even just someone's mind, someone who read your blog once and took something away from it, who knows what exactly, maybe something silly, something profound, but SOMETHING, and you'll live in that person's brain for as long as they remember that something.
So who knows. Maybe you and I are gonna live forever.