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The Territorial Dispatch

March 19, 1997

The Net Can Be Addicting

My name is Fran Crawford... and I'm a netaholic.

Something like that could take place in the near future.

"Nah!" you say. "I only do net on my TV set... I'm not into the hard stuff!"

I've never seen how the Internet works on a household television, but I have no doubt that it can be equally as addictive as on computers... just as beer can be as addictive as the hard stuff. And it even comes portable... laptops... like a six pack!

I've never been much of one to do things halfway... when I drank I drank Crown Royal; when I smoked I smoked Pall Mall... but I have recovered from those addictions. I'm working on my addiction to food, and I plan to succumb to my love of riding... I never want to retrace my direction... there is always another corner to go around.

I guess I just love to search of... by pickup on the superhighways or by computer on the information byways. Ecstacy will be when I can get a laptop computer, hook it to a cell phone... or however they will connect... and surf the net as Steve drives the pickup down the highway!!!

Being a netaholic is not necessarily such a horrible thing. Common sense is key. You have to remember if the kid needs a diaper change or has to go to little league, or the dog needs to be fed you can always 'bookmark' the website you are exploring and come back to it later. To me its like when I would try to look something up in my encyclopedia... there were so many interesting things that I would read along the way to my 'destination' topic that it might take hours to glean the information I started out to find.

When I have something that really needs doing, I get online, check my e-mail and then make myself sign off. I guess that could be likened to 'social drinking'.

E-mail... I like it better without the hyphen... email is the greatest! You can reestablish relationships with friends and relatives all over that you normally would never have time to write to. You can write so often for so little cost that you don't have to write volumes. For example you write: Hi, Jim. How's your job going? Love, Fran

He writes: Well, I finally got laid off. I knew it was coming, though. Everyone's cutting back. You write: Too bad. What's next?

He writes: Don't know. Think I'll stand along the highway with a sign that says "Will work for rides"... I've always wanted to travel!

And so forth. You get the idea. The messages travel back and forth so quickly ...a day, hours, minutes... that you can keep current with what is happening to each other. You can even set up a 'chat' online, but that would require you both being at your computers at the same time. One step further is having a special little camera on top of your monitor so that others can see you as you converse with them. That works both ways if you both have the software and cameras, of course.

Email can bring you surprises too. Because you can do 'searches' on the 'web' by keywords. I have had several people contact me because they have searched on a word and their web browser has come up with our homepage because it contains the word they were searching for. One time someone emailed me about Zelienople, Pennsylvania, because in one of my columns I had mentioned that we passed through that town every year going to our summer place.

Several people have contacted me because I am an alumni of Grove City College. They are future students of that institution and search the web for that name. It's pretty simple and fun to write back to them and I don't even have to find an envelope and stamp!

My hometown, Monaca, Pennsylvania, has a pretty unique name and folks that search on that usually end up at our homepage. I love it.

Being connected to the Internet is not 'bad' as some would have us think... you just need to exercise good judgement and control... like watching television, drinking, traveling, eating or anything else addictive.

Quote of the week:
I've learned that any place I haven't visited offers the same potential for adventure and excitement as any other. --Live and Learn and Pass it On

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