There are about a million modern developments that have entirely spoiled me as a human being. I am not some high faultin' lady that needs exactly the right shade of lipstick or a $100 purse or a polished wood floor, but I could not live without a flushable toilet. Not even for a day*. I could manage without, say, a microwave or sofa beds - but not Carmex. But I have found that the biggest offender recently has been the internet.
In so many ways, I don't engage with the world the way I used to. Just ask Ryan about the battle over Why We Don't Need To Keep The Yellow Pages Just Put It Straight In The Recycle Bin. My email-to-telephone conversation ratio is insanely high. I haven't been inside a bank for years. Heck, I didn't even haggle with a salesman over buying my car. I started a bidding war online and let them come to me. I don't even tune in for TV much anymore - it's already online, waiting for me the second the actor leaves the studio for the night. But even the internet has been turning me into a lazy daisy about using the internet.
I used to search for people who had similar interests (before 'googling' was even a word. Anyone still use AltaVista?) and read their websites or listservs. Then I started a collection of bookmarks. Then I started a blog to track everything I found interesting. Then AOL favorites. Then came blogroll. Then came this thing called RSS that let the blogroll tell you when someone updated the site so that I didn't even have to engage with each site on my list on a daily basis. Then came RSS aggregators (love you Google Reader) and Flickr contacts and notices of all kinds. I don't have to look for anything anymore, it all just comes to me. Which is 32 flavors of awesome - don't get me wrong, but now I barely 'use' the internet. I go to a few key sites - my email box, Reader, Flickr - and see what's there, which is usually a lot, and then I shut it off. So now the whole World Wide Web has become very narrow although more webby (maybe they should change it to World Wide Dreamcatcher?). I follow things that other people like, which leads me to more suggestions, etc.
So now I have tailored my internet experience to a refined set of people/websites, which are like-minded and therefore makes me happy. But at the same time, I'm never out there finding what else there is. I'm not typing "poop" into a search engine, just to see if it's out there somewhere. I feel like I have created this little protective bubble for myself that makes me like the bubble more but boxed me in at the same time. Sometimes, I wonder what I am missing.
*translation: I'm going to pass on your camping trip