This declaration was posted to one of my first websites, on 1 November 1997. It was republished here on 22 March 2021.
(lights up on a computer nerd, with no dress sense and even less common sense. Perhaps with jam-jar glasses and spiky hair. He’s sat in front of a blank computer terminal.)
They say I’ve got nobody to blame but myself. Except possibly those bastards at British Telecom. And their lawyers, for that matter. Okay, so I might not have used the phone line that much, but it’s hard, you see? I’m a net addict, and they’ve given me my sentence. They’ve sentenced me to “not having a phone line” for a period of “until you can pay your past bills”.
At least we ended up making the settlement out of court. At least BT’s bastards put that small print line on their contract that says “this does not affect your statutory rights”. Yeh – no problem… All I have to do now is make the several hundred pounds necessary to pay off my past bills, and they might just give me my phone line back.
It’s not my fault that I’m an Internet addict. I bet those bastards at BT are in with the Internet Service Provider people. I bet they’re just ecstatic about people like me. I bet the bastards just love to invite me to one of their “meetings” where they watch you squirm uncomfortably in your chair and tentatively fondle the few remaining coins in the bottom of your meaningless wallet.
I’ve tried to get over it. I’ve sat and re-read my old e-Mails time and time again, but it’s not the same. I’ve got people trying to get through, and I’ll never know.
I wonder if I can claim for loss of earnings? Nah – I never make any money nowadays anyway…
So here I am, suffering the symptoms of my deprivation. The other Internet addicts say it’s like heroin in an addicts veins; the pulse of surfing down a telephone line. But it’s not. Heroin addicts can get over it. For me, it’s like castration. I’ll never get my life back.
There’s nothing better than to come in on an evening, log on, and wave to the world. Hit a chat-channel and surf the web. You get some real jerks on there – net newbies – sometimes, but you’ve just gotta know where to shop and you’re part of the gang. It doesn’t matter who’s there, what they’re like or whether you’ll never meet them again. They’re your friends, and you’re part of the gang.
I didn’t waste my phone time. No way. I used all those clever programs that your mates give you on CD’s. I use the latest software. I get every ounce of power out of my already bulging-to-explosion point PC. Admittedly, I spend the money I save in this way on, well, more net-time, but at least it shows that I can economise. Kind of…
So here I am. No phone line; no friends. I’m a net-nobody. I’m disconnected. I’m powered down. I’m dead.
Life’s a bitch, innit?