Internet Junkie


For the last few days (read: I’m typing this out on Open Office to publish when I can) our modem has been FUBAR. Well, actually it’s been FUBAR for the last few months, but it’s been so intermittent that we thought it was outside causes and blah blah blah. This morning it has crashed completely – so I’m taking advantage of the fact that it seems to be up and running to blog.

It’s times like this that I realise just how reliant I am on the internet. I use the internet to stay in touch with friends and family miles from my home, check my bank balance, shop, play social games, look up recipes, research information on subjects I wish to blog about and search for music videos, lyrics and chords for the ukulele. I use the internet to book a room in our favourite guest house for when we visit my home town to see my family and our friends.

In short, most of my contact with the outside world is performed online. This is part and parcel of having a disability/impaired mobility/being a complete hermit and therefore afraid of your own shadow.

Being without the internet also impacts negatively on my ASD. My routine has been drastically changed through factors beyond my control and I don’t like it! You see, every morning without fail, I get up and I perform the following actions:

1: Check email and respond accordingly

2: Check for messages and spam on blog

3: Check site stats to see which entries are being most read, and which searches show my blog up on Google (and I’m still scratching my head over being found via a search for “fat red leggings”)

4: Play an online social game with my husband because we have made some good friends on it and some are even in England, so we could get together with them and do that geeky thing where you’re all in the same room playing the same game and chatting on the feed instead of to each other (isn’t that a LAN party?)

I don’t exactly become a gibbering wreck without internet access (although I would if I lived alone because I wouldn’t have anybody to talk to) but it’s more than a minor annoyance to me. Today I wanted to check on a small problem with my catalogue account and check my bank balance prior to going to the corner shop – because that’s what I do every day. I’m also expecting an email from Epilepsy Action concerning a possible internet link to the documentary I was filmed for, but for now it’s floating about in the ether somewhere.

I suppose I could take my laptop into town and use the wi-fi at Costa, but that means getting on a bus, sitting with strange noisy people and paying somebody five quid to make me a cup of tea that probably won’t taste very good. I would possibly also feel obliged to look all intellectual and blog a review of the place. It’s Costa. Every Costa is the same. What on earth can you say about Costa that hasn’t been said before?

If they paid me I suppose I could write something about the service (barista is half-asleep) or the ambience of the place (stinks of coffee because it’s Costa). Perhaps they’d offer me a free coffee to sample (did I ever mention how much I dislike coffee?) and possibly feed me something packed full of lactose so that I can tell the world how tasty the product is (not) whilst feeling bloated and sick.

Or maybe I could go to Wetherspoons and sit with all the old men who go there for breakfast and stink of stale cigarettes, but who can get anything intelligent done in a Wetherspoons? Those places are about as cheery as the local funeral home and everybody sounds as though they’re speaking from down a mine shaft or a well and I couldn’t go to the ladies in case some git came along and stole my laptop!

I bet the local coffee shop would love for me to go in there and write up a live blog review for them in order to drum up some trade, but it’s being refurbished and it would still involve me getting out of my pyjamas. I’m a well-liked local eccentric, yes, but even I’m not bonkers enough to show up at Bean In Here in my dressing gown.

Besides, knowing my luck it’s not being refurbished at all and has, in fact, closed down – which would be a pity as it seems to be a popular meeting place for young mums, pensioners and hermits like me who are afraid of town. When it first opened I thought that a coffee shop in a little shopping centre in a middle-class residential area was a stupid idea (I was prejudiced, okay? It used to be my hair salon and then one day it wasn’t) but now I think it’s a great way to bring a community together – especially those of us who are less mobile or restricted by family priorities and time.

There are the local church coffee shops – at least two of them – but I have several issues there. Do churches have wi-fi? What on earth would I blog about from a church hall anyway? The weather? Maude’s new blue rinse? Not the most inspiring of places.

Then there’s the added risk of being invited to join the church and then I’d have to admit to being North Springfield’s Pickling Pagan and would run the risk of waking up in the middle of the night to find the house surrounded by angry people with torches and pitchforks wanting to burn the heretic.

Well no, not really, obviously, but I’m not sure that my spiritual beliefs would make me a very popular figure in the church community.

There is also a library right across the road from here. The downside to this is that it hasn’t actually finished being built yet, or I’d be over there on a computer already.

I seem to be a lot more wordy when I’m not being distracted by pictures of Matt Smith or cats, don’t I?

Anyway, here is my dilemma: Today I could pack Vera up in my laptop/sewing/Really Useful Bag, hop on a bus and find somewhere to blog that isn’t the sofa – and I’m too scared to do it. It just seems like too much hassle to shower, dress, wait in the cold for a bus and then play Dodge The Ignorant Person On The Street once I arrive in the town centre. Even the thought of it is stressful.

And yet I’d love to. I would absolutely love to skip out of the front door and blog at you with photographs of my beautiful city and observations of the people around me. I’d love to tell you how it feels to be out on my own with epilepsy, and discover any issues concerning accessibility and politeness of bus drivers and cafe/bar staff, which I could then bring up with the appropriate companies.

Where do you start with regaining confidence after five years of being afraid to leave the house?

My name is Missus Tribble and I am an Internet Junkie.

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About The Hairy Housewife

Media volunteer for Epilepsy Action (UK) and advocate for both epilepsy and autism awareness. Seamstress, cross-stitcher, sci-fi lover, ukulele player and Chelmsford's own Pickling Pagan who wants to inherit a TARDIS when she grows up. In the process of writing an as yet unnamed book, with anecdotes and information about being epileptic and autistic - and seeing the funny side! Also an entertainment journalist for What Culture, where I write about Doctor Who.
This entry was posted in Acceptance, Anxiety, Attitudes. Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Internet Junkie

  1. paulaacton says:

    start slowly and have a wander round the area where you live, i know the familiar can seem boring but hey we haven’t seen it and through the camera lens you see things in a new way

  2. margo says:

    Just do it! Just like you have already done sooooo many difficult things before. We know you can, you know you can do it one more time. Sometimes an inconvenient, uncooperative widget can give rise to a dissatisfaction and a level of irritability that can be powerfully motivating. I mean, your routine is already disturbed (hence the irritability, I suspect) so why not take the extra steps to disturb it a little further? (Please note, I am saying this with tongue in cheek, not not not ordering you about.)
    Besides, it’s already early evening in your part of the world by now. It’s well after 1 pm here (and I should talk! I’m still in *my* jammies! {;>DD)

  3. Agreed, start slowly. Begin with walking down to your front gate (or the pavement outside your house) and take a photo of your house, and your street, and stuff. Once you’ve done that for a few days, then you can think about taking some steps up or down the street…

    If you can quit smoking, get rid of your crazy exes (I’m thinking of T) and face challenges like epilepsy, then getting to the bottom of the drive isn’t that scary, surely?

    Xxx

  4. Due to my recent surgeries, I have neglected my own blog. I have to say, I actually feel the withdrawal symptoms usually associated with addiction, as well as the rush that accompanied my first post now that I am feeling better. As far as gaining confidence, I am attempting to re-enter the workforce after a five year absence. I am heeding wise advice to go slow and reward myself with every step forward. Take a big goal and break it down into bite-sized chunks…..just keep on going.

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