When we bought our first computer about seven years ago...the desktop, still creaking away...I was terrified of it. Used to sit in front of it and peck at the keys thinking something awful would happen any minute...can't imagine what though. The mouse frightened me as well...and the cursor charged about all over the screen and I didn't realise it was possible to slow it down...it wasn't until a friend was using it one day and showed me how to do it that I finally had some control over where it went...
Then I opened an e-mail account...began receiving mail and carefully wrote every single web page and personal e-mail address down because I had no idea they were saved automatically...
Eventually I more or less got the hang of it...it didn't blow up or delete anything unless I told it to...I learned what a gigabyte was, discovered all the music I loved was there on YouTube just for the asking and began to enjoy spending time browsing.
There is a vast amount I'm totally ignorant of...but I get by and I know I can always ask and someone will have the answer.
The internet is rather like one of those 'all-you-can-eat ' places or a PickandMix of sweets...something for absolutely everyone...join a couple of groups and more information begins to come your way...from the quirky to the very serious...one site leads to another and you find yourself unwrapping an ancient Egyptian Mummy just after reading about how to make the most out of a fabric charm square...watch while Richard 111 was carefully removed from his hasty grave in a car-park and then all you've ever wanted to know about people who claim to have been abducted by aliens...and much you really don't need to know.
Making St Bridgids Crosses to mediaeval warfare to insuring your car or using spray paint...delving into the depths of your family history leads to an exploration of ancient castles and the actual records of everything from First World War call-up papers to baptismal notices written in a careful hand by a Curate living in the 16th century...
The social media side brings us into contact with those we'd never meet otherwise...mostly good people, with the occasional off the wall person to keep us on our toes. Multiply seemed to be stuffed full of the weird and wonderful actually...from girls who imagined they were being stalked by others using night vision glasses to religious nuts to cross-dressers who wrote two blogs daily...one from his male side and another from his female ego complete with photographs of badly fitting frocks and poorly applied make-up...
Paranoia was almost a requisite for being a member of Multiply...like attracts like I suppose but I had some quite unfortunate encounters and I might be a bit odd, but I'm not paranoid...yet.
Occasionally I'm struck by the pure hatred some people have for others which show up in their blogs...one contact I had wrote in venomous tones about a boat load of stricken refugees who had not been allowed to land on the coast of Canada ...I dropped her immediately and she was furious...how dare I, and more along those lines, but not in polite language.
Just as well she lived so far away, otherwise I'd have poked her in the eye...
None of the drama seems to happen on ipernity though...no-one flies off the handle at imagined slights...no-one has a long list of what you may and may not discuss on their page...I've not met anyone yet who is convinced they're being stalked or happily announce they are having an on-line affair but I'm not to tell anyone...that's happened to me twice actually...
We sort of share stuff on ipernity don't we...it's like having a small group of friends over for supper rather than an intense competition to see who can out do everyone else...we help each other out when in a muddle and we can tease and poke gentle fun without fear of anyone taking offence and flouncing off in a huff...
For me personally...the internet brings the world into my sitting room...it has brought me good and decent friends even if it did take a little while to find them...I'm no longer frightened to click onto something that looks interesting but I haven't the foggiest idea what defragmentation is.