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Dear World Wide Web: I Love/Hate You

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Dear World Wide Web,

I love/hate you. I am jealous that I will never know nearly as much as you, but I also don't believe everything you say. You simultaneously connect people through faster communication and disconnect people by minimizing the need for actual human contact. Without you I would be so bored at work, but perhaps without you I could actually get some work done. I am not alone in my contempt: phone books, newspapers, CD's, stamps, birthday cards, they must hate you too -- you have made their jobs less important while making my life easier. Was my life really that hard before you came along? I cannot get you out of my head, Internet; your infinite pages, your speed, your control.

As a child I was glued to my TV. The quiet electric hum of a pixilated screen was my meditation. Television connected me to worlds I never knew existed. Television made me feel included rather than left out of the big secret. Through television I was included and invited to be part of something. Through TV I was in the know (even though that "know" was knowing that Mr. Belvedere agreed to direct Wesley's school play in episode #422) At least with TV I had to walk away from it to go to school. Other than the occasional class film, seven school hours were spent without a colorful monitor in my face. I was forced to actually live, rather than live through a box.

Now computers are the new TV. We don't have to go out when we can just go to cyberspace. Why go to a show when you can watch clips online? Why talk to someone when you can email him or her? Why learn anything when you can just Ask Jeeves?

What? Jeeves is dead? Dear God, if a fictional internet star can't survive, oh how will I?

In the 80s some people screamed, "Kill your Television" but what about the killing the current enemy? Apparently the folks at www.killyourtelevision.com only have issues with certain mind-controlling media. Why was television often viewed as evil and computers are so celebrated? Yes, Real World marathons on MTV are very distracting but so is reading all of your 1,238 of your MySpace friends profiles. And their MySpace friends profiles. And then those MySpace friends other MySpace friends profiles. Shouldn't that strike up a "Kill your Computer" campaign? Okay maybe killing is too harsh, I mean you and I both wouldn't be here, on this page if my adorable iBook G4 was murdered. I suppose it is up to me to learn how to maintain a healthy relationship with computers, but I fear I cannot resist its web of interference.

I work in front of a computer so I cannot escape this new addiction. I find it impossible to complete an hour of work without checking my email an average of eight times (I know this by referring the history scroll down menu on Safari, thanks again internet for easing the burden of counting). It's like giving a child homework and asking them to do it with their back turned to a television turned on, he or she will turn to look. So just in case someone needs to reach me, Yahoo remains shrunken in the corner beside the essay/article/temp job assigned spreadsheet I am so feverishly composing. Every five minutes I enlarge my inbox and click refresh "Welcome Giulia, 0 messages."

I don't believe Yahoo, so I hit refresh sure that a number one will come before the zero this time but alas I get another doomed "Welcome Giulia, 0 messages."

Impossible! Why is Yahoo trying to ruin my life?

So I Refresh. Refresh. Refresh. REFRESH!

Only to yet again be stabbed in the heart with the news of:

"Welcome Giulia, 0 messages."

Fuck you Yahoo! Fuck you and your emoticons. Bet you don't have an emoticon for "Fuck you" huh? Who's LOL now?

Not me. What message am I even waiting for? Nobody is going to send me my dream email of "Dear Giulia, because you are such a good person I am giving you a billion dollars, eternal health, and the power to eat whatever you want without ever getting fat. Love, God"

When my inbox is indeed overflowing, it's most often half real messages from humans and half solicitations from people like Mr.Vincent Achus from the Atlantic Bank Ltd in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso offering me 8.4 million dollars in exchange for borrowing my bank account number or a chain letter from a friend of a friend whom I have never met sending me a "10 reasons why girlfriends are like sisters" poem commanding I send it on to 10 of my friends or I will have bad luck FOREVER.

I just got 20 spam messages -- could my luck really get any worse?

To sink myself into an even deeper depression I turn to Goggle where I enter in the names of former highschool classmates, ex- crushes, and fellow comedians and writers to see how much more successful they are than me. According to RandomentertainmentwebsitemaintainedannonomouslybyactorX.com, actor X is a "rising star" and "the next big thing".

Alone I turn to my friends. Well, my friends' blogs. I read more about what my friends are doing rather than actually doing things with my friends. On June 29 while reading carolsdeeplyprivatebutpublicthoughts.blogspot.com I learned that my best pal Carol had a really bad day and was thinking of moving back in with her parents so I sent her an Ecard with dancing kittens. On June 30 carolsdeeplyprivatebutpublicthoughts.blogspot.com decided she would not move back home. Thanks, dancing kittens Ecard!

Oh, how I miss the days when reading your friends' diary was a bitchy thing to do.

I really need to get away from you for a while and take a tech vacation. Of course I need to do some online research to figure out where to go. I need MapQuest to help me find this vacation destination. I need Orbitz to help make this vacation a great bargain. I need Craigslist, so I could find a way to make a little extra cash to take such a trip.

A few months ago I went to Hawaii and got away from you for six days. I explored the island, played in the sea, basked in the sun, and I even saw a rainbow. How refreshing it was to see a real rainbow, and not the rainbow that decorates the window of the Microsoft logo.

Of course, once my vacation ended I ran right back into your arms. Or rather keys. Or HTML coding. Or whatever. Webby, I'm not saying our friendship has to end, I am just saying I need to learn to live without you sometime. However that sometime isn't right though cause I am writing this online essay about you, and then I want to send a link to this essay to my friends, and then I want to link this essay to my website, and then I want to login later and see how many people comment on my online essay.

Ugh, I am so tangled up in this relationship. Perhaps that is why you are called the Web?

Love,

Giulia

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