Friends, the long national nightmare is over.

Let me tell you a secret: I steal internet.  It’s not because I don’t want to spend the money.  It’s because my apartment’s phone jacks are all silly and it would take  a lot of phone calling and money to fix them.  It’s something that must be fixed eventually but stealing the internet from neighbors is…well, free.  So for the last month or so that’s exactly what I’ve been doing.

Until last week, when that all changed.  My airport no longer recognized the routers I was leeching off of.  I had no internet.  At all.  And that was that.

I lugged my laptop to Coffee Bean once but that was a pain in the ass and it would take at least a week until I could get someone out here to check out my phone jacks.  So I was without internet.  Meaning no new music, no news updates (besides television — yuck), no Youtube, Facebook and, most importantly, CHUD.

But I was okay with all that.  It would give me time to write, to go outside more (I’ve recently started running again), to not spend hours searching the web for anything worth my time.  I told my co-workers about my situation.  I’m something of an informed young man so they all assumed I only used the internet for news and educational purposes.  Little did they know that I spent an hour searching Youtube for “pop-up video” last week.  Little did they know about the countless hours scrolling through stories on Fark or Digg.  I watched a video of a man cutting his scrotom off last week.  It wasn’t my idea, but I still watched!  He cut it right off!  Don’t get me wrong, I use the internet for positive things.  But there is so much useless junk out there, all at my fingertips.  And some of it is so interesting.

I’m sure this is something that happens with every medium.  My parents limited my telvision intake when I was young.  I didn’t understand it then but I do now.  The hours not watching television were hours being active, healthy, and creative.  Those were the hours that I was a kid.  Sure, television played a part in my childhoor but nearly as much as playing in the woods or riding my bike. 

I can only assume it’ll get worse in the upcoming years.  Our children will be able to do EVERYTHING on the web.  Television, music, news, comics, it’ll all be there.  The good and the bad together.  I think it’s time that I learn to limit myself now instead of later.

I have my internet back now (I won’t say how) but I’ve promised to use it for good, not evil.  Internet is like television; there’s a lot that stimiluates the brain but a lot more that doesn’t.  I need to feel more productive and I think this is a good start.  So for every minute I spend watching Afro Ninja, I will spend two learning something new.  Or donating money to a cause. 

Or writing at CHUD.