This guest blog is by Bob Howie, who lives in Perth, Scotland. He has embraced the social side of the internet and written about his experiences of using the web.
I wasn’t interested in computers when I was working as I didn’t have time and there was not much use I could see with them except for playing games. That changed when I started having health problems and I had more time on my hands, TV was rubbish and things got a bit boring. I got into the internet because I couldn’t find things without spending endless hours walking through town; the internet provided me with the ability.
This year I sustained an injury and my health deteriorated until my mobility was compromised; what kept me going was an internet game I got involved in. It allowed me to play a game which involved people all over the world and while chatting I discovered lots of them were just like me.
It was nice to think I was part of an international community of people who, no matter where they were from, were all the same. From this I got their Skype addresses and now I can talk to my internet friends all over the planet and I have had some interesting conversations.
I’ve met an anthropological archaeologist, heart surgeon, farmers, pharmaceutical reps, serving soldiers, managers, salesmen and women, accountants and self-employed people from all walks of life. In the past year I have built up a group I can talk to in Europe, Asia, America, Canada and Australia – and the good thing is it is free.
If you are not into computers, don’t worry. There are courses and some local community centres have classes. Computers are available new but you can also pick up refurbished ones.
The internet has people who will take advantage; they name their sites to sound exactly like the sites you are looking for, so it is best to arm yourself with a good internet security program as this will warn of any threats present on a site.
I have also gotten use to the spam mail that is ever-present, I have won $100,000,000, had proposals and most of anything else you could think of. Remember if it’s too good to be true then it is, if they want an administration fee then it’s a scam.
I use the internet daily now. I do my banking, I play my game, chat to friends (last night to a friend in Bulgaria) and all round am quite comfortable with my life and I don’t consider myself to be lonely just because I am the only person in my home. People see me disappear into my home and think because the only visitor I get is the guy delivering my prescription that I am lonely. I am not lonely – sometimes it is hard to squeeze in everyone who wants to talk to me and sometimes we have group calls.
The internet has something for all, the journey searching for that can be so much fun and I hope if you want to then you find as much fun as I have.