Last week, I received an e-mail from Diane Mapes, a journalist with MSNBC.com, requesting an interview for a piece she was doing on tanning. She'd run across my blog, specifically my post from May 3rd entitled "Protect Yourself." I e-mailed her back, after checking her credentials (you just never know), and within an hour, we were speaking to one another on the phone.
Once again, I'm amazed at the power of the internet to bring people together in so many different ways for so many different reasons. Over the years, I've met some of the most interesting and wonderful people that I otherwise would not have met. This includes fellow gardening bloggers, of course, but also people like my friend Kat.
Probably those that I've met through geocaching are evidence of the largest network of friends and acquaintances that the internet has made possible for Romie and me. We've attended caching events and stayed with fellow cachers in their homes, as well as being the hosts ourselves, over the last three years and we not only share this hobby with them, but like our friends here at home, we enjoy just spending time with them. Were it not for our computer and the internet, we would have missed out on knowing some awfully nice people.
The internet gets bad press from time to time, and occasionally it's deserved. But used appropriately, it opens up the world in a brand new wonderful way. I remember when we first got online, my mom said to me, "Do you really need that?" At that time, we had dial-up and had a second phone line put in that was dedicated to the internet so that our regular phone line wasn't tied up by our internet use (which was a LOT of the time). The cost per month was something like $40, which included the second phone line. Now we have high-speed wireless and no telephone lines at all.
I imagine this kind of reaction was similar to when the telephone first became available for widespread use. People had gotten along without it for years, so was it really a necessity or was it a luxuriant convenience? While I don't think my computer and being online are necessities, I consider the use of it akin to using the telephone and having a television. I can use my connection to conduct business as well as for pure entertainment, and its research capabilities are invaluable.
I've always described the internet as being a book that never ends. Probably more like a magazine, with its infinite and varied subject matter. Because of this, I can sit down at the computer and be astounded later when I look at the clock and see that several hours have gone by. It's those darn links that are the culprits! One thing just leads to another - how else could you start out reading about how to prune an apple tree and end up finding out that in 2006, your first name was the 146th most popular baby name?
- How and When To Prune Your Apple Tree
- Ohio Lavender Festival
- First Ladies National Historic Site
- The US Government's Official Web Portal
- Popular Baby Names
And now I've gone off on a tangent in this post, so back to what I wanted to say in the first place: The tanning article has been published! And while Diane didn't promise that she'd use anything from our interview, she gave me both the lead-in quote as well as the wrap-up one at the end.
There's my fifteen minutes of fame.
And here's me in 1974, after tanning by the pool at Disney World. What was I thinking?