I spent this morning in The Bake House Internet Café with my internet Sherpa Shari Stauch of WritersWin.com. Let me say, by way of introduction, that when I learned how to email ten years ago I was convinced that I had this whole internet thing knocked. Now, every Wednesday morning, Shari spends most of an hour educating me how short the bus should be bringing me to my social media class.
As I watched Shari’s fingers flying across the keyboard linking my author website and blog to Google Plus, Facebook, Twitter, Bloghub, MailChimp, Goodreads and multiple other widgets and plug-ins, I had an out-of-body Tron-like experience. My linkages were intertwining seductively like lightening inside dark cloud. Massive supercomputers lashed to the decks of riverboat barges floated and bobbed in a roiling jet stream.
I understood it was only a hallucination fueled by a respiratory virus, caffeine, Sudafed, Afrin, Aleve, and an inappropriate amount of Nyquil. For a brief minute reality and fantasy collided when Goodreads listed me as the author of the Adventures of Huckleberry Finn and my reviews were mediocre. My Twitter homework assignments were circling harmlessly in space addressed both from and to myself.
How is it possible that such gigantic communication systems can link up so instantaneously and almost flawlessly in thin air? The world-wide web requires more faith than the Bible.
As Shari tried to explain how everything worked I felt like Larry in Animal House.
Larry: [to Jennings, while high] Okay. That means that our whole solar system could be, like one tiny atom in the fingernail of some other giant being. [Jennings nods] This is too much! That means one tiny atom in my fingernail could be–
Jennings: Could be one little tiny universe.
Once the rapture passed, I settled back into my usual relationship with social media, namely freewheeling anxiety. Which keystroke swipe will put me on an NAS watch list somewhere? Which search will take me to a child porn site instead of a Valentine’s Day gift site for chocolate covered Strawberries? Which Twitter follow is a psycho stalker instead of an avid reader, blogger and mother of three? Which e mail is a phishing virus? Which link takes me to the deep web from which there is no return?
My fear is that despite Shari’s patience, expertise and experience I will prove to be as thick as I suspect myself to be. That’s why I’ve started taking Cyberzac for free-floating Cyberspace-related anxiety unresponsive to usual educational efforts. Ask your doctor if it might be right for you.
Do not take Cyberzac if you have a history of exposure to TB, HPV, have traveled to Morocco, have been treated with biologicals for plaque-like psoriasis or frequently use St. John’s Wort. Use of Cyberzac has been associated with bloating and gas, rectal pain, anal leakage, hair loss, hair growth, acne, depression, suicidal thoughts, staring, drooling, runny nose, runny eyes, high pitched whistling in the ears and an increased risk of prostate cancer and splenic tumors. It is not advised for children under the age of twelve or for pregnant women.
Cyberzac blister packs should be disposed of carefully and not handled by women of reproductive age. Contact your doctor if you experience an erection lasting any less than 4 hours. Beneficial effects can be anticipated in a large minority of patients within 3-4 weeks of initiating Cyberzac therapy.
So far, so good. I already feel less anxious with visits to my website. However, I am still fairly confident that Dr. Declan Murphy will never use his cyber skills to solve a mystery or get himself out of a tough spot. Got to go now. Need to run to the bathroom.