• I'm Not Catching On

    I used computers before anyone ever believed they would be small enough to be in homes. I bought one of the first ones, where all the programs used DOS to manage them. When the Internet first came on line, I signed up, anxious to open my world to the wider expanse of knowledge.

    I did all this, not because I am a great web surfer, with time to find all the fun and cute sites, or the videos which make me laugh or leave me in awe. I did it because I was a compulsive writer then, and I've remained obsessed all my life. But I prefer stories based on fact, and rather close to real life for the most part. Not necessarily in my reading, that varies, but in my writing, I gravitate to realism, even with my historic fiction. It stems in part because, in my wandering path through life, I found reality is often more amazing that fantasy. The characters, the incidents and events, even the world surrounding us, is so completely fascinating that I don't really need to look beyond it to find stories to write about. So computers were a perfect companion for recording my words and finding information.

    As time passed, and my writing took me down an obscure, rock strewn path on another adventure, I found I had to become a promoter for myself. Okay, now there is a real-life subject that does not appeal to me. I don't really want to promote myself. I am doing it because I made an effort to publish, but its really torture. When people find my dull, little self interesting, I wish I knew their secret, because I need some interesting points to discover about myself.

    Then as I try to follow others, who seem so much more interesting, I find myself off on tangents that cut further into my time. And worse, I find myself following links that take me and my little computer screen off onto weird places. I am not sure, but I think I might have just signed up for something. I don't know what I did, I put in an email and password and had a screen pop-up that said CONGRATULATIONS! What the heck were they congratulating me for? Did I just sell my house for a $100.00? Win a $1000.00 a week for life? Or heaven forbid, sign up for ObamaCare, making me number 10 in the nation to achieve the impossible? I don't know. I figured I got further into it than I really wanted and decided that it was time to hit the close button and move onto something else, anything else. If a moving van shows up in the driveway during the coming week, I'll assume the worst.

    I was perfectly happy using the internet for research. I love the access I've found to so many different things, including old books scanned on to the Net to peruse. But I am not always catching on so well to this social media thing. Even the website blogging stuff is beginning to wear on my brain cells as I find myself sucked into things that I can barely understand. I love being social, I just don't understand how something as impersonal as a computer constitutes socializing. True, its a joy reaching out to people from across the country and the world, to make friends by sharing emails. I love that I have another way of offering a little assistance to someone, even if they live half a world away. But it still doesn't quite fit with my notion of socializing. I want to see the expressions, hear the tone of voice, watch the gestures, and best of all, have that intermittent contact in a hug, a pat on the back, a consoling arm over the shoulder or for those who mean so much, the kiss.

    For all these other things, I think I rate somewhat as a muddler. At times, trying to manage my way, I feel a little like I'm wallowing in a mud puddle. I may have created entire links and blinks that are working there way across the universe, attempting to connect with aliens on other planets. But the problem remains, I don't always realize what I've done. There should be more warnings on these things:

    You are about to enter a site where your deepest, most personal information

    is revealed and splattered across the Internet

    for the amusement of others.

    I hope I have not yet done that, but I cannot say for sure. Of course, that is not the world's greatest crisis because I just am not quite exciting enough to really tantalize anyone yet. The world is more likely to engage in a great simultaneous yawn than jump with excitement. But I do hope, at some point, I catch on to what I am doing before I put my home up for bid on CheapHouses or some other equally frightening site.

    At least, if anyone even bothers to peek in here, they can jump over to the old home page, click on the link at the beginning, and join the great contest to receive a personal copy of SOMETHING TAKEN. That is one thing I've done that might generate a little excitement for someone. I've heard, and I am even beginning to believe, its pretty good. So if you need a little diversion, jump over there, click on it and go to the Goodreads site and take a chance. I do hope you win! No strings attached either, just a chance to share.

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