I love the internet. What a fantastic invention. When I was a student, in my final year, we got introduced to e-mail. It was such a novelty. We sat in the class sending messages to each other – sure who else would we send one too? We didn’t know anyone else with e-mail.
When I decided to move on to do a Masters I got an e-mail address and not only that I had internet access. This was 1998. It was such a revelation for me as a Research Masters student doing my research with use of the internet as it revolutionised my study. Rather than spend endless hours in the library photocopying journal articles I could access many at the tips of my fingers. I can’t even imagine life as a student now. All the answers at your fingers tips. Hell if I am watching TV and can’t remember the name of an actor I google it. Isn’t “googling” now part of the dictionary? I must check on google – there are loads of online dictionaries!
Once I hit the working world e-mail had really become a business essential and since then I have never been without it but I could never imagined back then what would unfold in terms of my online life.
About 3 years after my Masters finished I got engaged. Having spent two years researching and using the internet for my degree I substituted it for my wedding planning. I discovered an Irish online wedding forum. I spent many hours chatting to complete strangers about my wedding plans. I got so many great ideas and I hope that since I stuck around for a few months after my wedding I gave some ideas too. During my time on that forum there were real life meet ups. I met a few of my “online friends” in real life and one in particular I am still in touch with.
Of course you can’t stick around a wedding website forever and eventually I signed up to a pregnancy and parenting site. I hadn’t planned a baby just yet but knew I would want to in the very near future. Within a year I was pregnant and being the Learner Mama that I am I had loads of questions, loads of concerns and loads to talk about. With an “online birth club” I was set for my pregnancy with another load of strangers also due their baby the same month as me!
Throughout my early motherhood I googled, I posted on this forum and I relied heavily on my online life. None of my other friends were mothers or even pregnant so my online life was a lifeline for me in those early days of motherhood. I went as far as to set up a Local meet up thread and met a big group of local mums, who like me liked their online life too. I have enjoyed numerous coffees, playcentres and nights out with this gang and now consider them firmly part of my real world life too.
The most recent step in my online life was to set up this site. I bought the URL not really knowing where it would take me but for the last number of months (mostly since the summer) I have blogged my way through my motherhood days and along the way have become part of the most amazing Bloggers groups.
In my home country of Ireland there are the most wonderful group of Irish Parenting Bloggers. Please do check them all out – they are so great. I cannot say enough about them. I only joined them in the last couple of months but feel part of a lovely little family.
I have also dipped my toe across the water and joined many a twitter party and the lovely UK group of PBloggers.
Of course with everything so online in my life is it any surprise my kids love of ipads and iphones.! I do find I have to discipline myself and try to avoid “checking in” when I should be spending quality time with my kids.
I also need to remember the fabulous group of real life friends I have who I don’t speak to much about my online life to. Not that I am anonymous or ashamed but they are just not into it as much as me and I don’t want to bore the socks off them or honestly make them wonder I am a total gombeen altogether!
There is of course a juggling act of my real and online life but I have to admit to loving my online life and look forward to meeting many more fantastic people along this amazing journey.