Ever had someone ask you what you do when you get home after work and giving you that look when you say you would go on the net and check your blog, your forum, your mails and your chats? Ever had people give you strange looks when you tell them your hobby is making webpages and going online for games, discussions and debates?
It's as if there is something wrong with wanting to spend your free time on the intenet.
When I tell people that what I like to do after work is to go home and relax in front of my computer, I get the typical response, "Get a life, go out and do something."
I work 45 hours a week, I have a career, I have a family, I do have friends in REAL LIFE and so, yes I do have a life. There are many things I enjoy, like travelling, reading a book, photography, having coffee with friends and etc. But a big part of my off-work time just so happens to include online activities.
Why does one have to "go out and do something" during the weekends? Why is it "pathetic" to spend Friday or Saturday night in front of my computer talking to people from all over? Why is someone collecting stamps or going out getting drunk somehow better than someone who prefers to spend his or her freetime online?
You know I used to feel ashamed that I'm an internet junkie. But now I don't care. Yes I do like spending Friday or Saturday night in front of my computer reading forums and blogs, so what?
Why do people look at you like you're some kind of weirdo when you say you are regular chat user, or blogger? Perhaps there is all that bad stereotypes that people have because of all the horror stories. To them those who spend most of their free time online is either: A loser who has no friends, a fat good-for-nothing pretending to be a dame, or some sex-mad prowler looking for a few innocent young victims to lure. But who is to say these things don't exists outside of the internet, admit in different forms?
I'd say people who don't surf are missing out! There's no end to ideas, viewpoints and personalities to meet online. Most folks you see online are normal everyday people.
"But they are not real." some might say. "Go out and meet REAL people."
Are you sure the people you know in real life are being real to you too? IMHO, most people are more free in saying what they really feel in the net than in real life. They may take on characters to say things they wouldn't normally say. On the other end of the spectrum, there are people who use the internet as a way to be someone they are not, just like in real life there are also people in real life who are pretending to be what they are not. In my personal opinion, there's actually more risk in being, and sometimes, harder to be honest in real life than in cyberspace.
Maybe you can say that I am addicted to the net. Who isn't somewhat addicted to their chosen hobby? Who wouldn't want to spend time doing something they like? Nothing in excess is good, I agree. This is not a justification of an addiction, but a mere rant on why those outside of our realm can't seem to see internet activities as acceptable pastime like stamp collecting, hanging out at a pub or going to the gym.