Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Personal Internet History

I began when we entered our 3rd parish in 1995.
4 Big Determinants:
1. The government and Diocese were in agreement that the purchase of a computer could come out of my husband's continuing education fund.
2. There were 6 people in our family and I was on the bottom of the tv remote control hierarchy. My husband was at the top and then the sons in order from the oldest to the youngest followed by our daughter and well I was so far down that I switched games. I definitely had the most to gain by switching to the internet. Eventually my daughter joined me but she was young and cute and social and very much into her real life so we weren't competing for online time.
3. My husband and the bishops would decide our moves and it didn't seem to dawn on anyone that wherever we had moved, I had slowly and painstakingly built a meaningful life for myself. Every move was the death of a lifestyle - a lifestyle I had grown to love. The computer was something that I could unplug in one community and reconnect to in the next community. If I build an online life, it could follow me. I could have some continuity and control in my life.
4. In our first parish and later in our third parish, I had contacted the church hierarchy and asked for information and wasn't permitted access. The first time was to see a public discussion paper on homosexuality and the second time was asking verification of a retirement that I had heard being discussed at a Christmas party. Access to information on a Diocesian level was identical to access to the remote control on the family level. Google was the greatest thing to ever happen to my sense of self - I didn't have to beg for access for information and be told that someone else would decide what I needed to know or didn't need to know. Access to information could no longer be a commodity like the square footage of office space assigned in a company.

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