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When One Door Closes . . .

Leonicka Valcius: When One Door Closes . . .

Thursday, March 27, 2008

When One Door Closes . . .

Unlike many people my age, I did not have what can be called an “online presence.” It’s hard to explain why, when my peers were posting videos online for the world to see, I was still had a hard time sending an email. Part of it was my old – fashioned perspective. Whatever happened to hiding a flashlight under the covers to finish a good book? What happened to developing elaborate codes so that the teacher could never decipher the notes you’ve been passing? The notebook replaced the good book and “txt msgs” replaced notes. Yet I, rebel that I am, refused to join my peers in the 21st century. Give me a pen and a pad of paper, I said, and I’ll be fine.

That mantra could only get me so far. The world was moving at light speed and I was left behind. So, with much prodding and cajoling, my friends dragged me – kicking and screaming – to wonderful worldwide web. With their help I set up my own email account, got a screen name and even began shopping online!

But the piece de resistance was my Facebook account. I loved my Facebook account. I finally understood the Internet (and for that matter the social networking) phenomenon. Of course my overly cautious side kicked in and I set all my privacy setting so high that I was practically the only one who could see my profile. But still I felt liberated. I customized my profile with a plethora of ridiculous applications and added all the friends I could think of. Scratch that. All the friends I wanted to think of. (Some people are best left forgotten.) I checked Facebook at least three times a week to make sure I stayed in the loop. Whose birthday is coming up? Who’s “In a relationship” with whom? Who needs a virtual hug? Finally I could be social butterfly from the comfort of my own home!

And just like that I had to cut the cord. In an embarrassing debacle that included my brother being a snitch, I was forced to delete my profile. This was no easy feat considering the nature of Facebook. Profiles are not deleted, only “deactivated.” If I were to sign in as usual I would find my profile just as I left it. So mine was the task of painstakingly deleting every piece of information on my profile. All the wall posts, all the applications, all the photos, all the friends – gone.

Broken and beaten I wandered aimlessly though cyberspace. Desperately I tried to find something – anything – to fill the void. It was in this way I stumbled upon blogging. Sure I had read and commented on countless blogs, but it never occurred to me to have my own. After all, I liked being the center of attention yet there was no guarantee any one would actually read my work. But I had to put my ego aside. It was either have a blog or have nothing – and nothing was not an option.

So here it is: my first blog. I’m blown away by how nervous I am. I hope you like it. Scratch that. You better like it!

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