Archive for the ‘Slice – 4’ Category

Hello, my name is Alexa, and I’m a web-aholic. I can’t live without the Internet. Well, at least not happily. And I’m kinda shocked to admit it. I mean, I live in NYC. It’s a fab city; a happening city, full of fun and quirky stores and even more quirky characters.

I know I’m dating myself (which is probably illegal in many states) by saying this, but I remember typewriters, paper, pens and pencils. Yes, people, the rudimentary way of writing something that then had to be handed in person to someone or snail mailed. (I also remember not having to use “snail” to specify what type of mailing I meant.) But why deal with other human beings when you’ve got the web, right?

I was really sick and stuck home for weeks, which in a noncyber world would’ve sucked big time. Being in between bad relationships, how’s a NYC gal supposed to get medicine, food, pay bills? (My electric company wouldn’t care I was too sick to walk a few blocks to the post office.) But yay web and access to supermarkets, drugstores, restaurants and online bill pay! And, of course, girlie things like makeup and fancy undies to cheer me up, computer games to quell the boredom, patterns and fabric for sewing, books (the physical kind, still haven’t done the reader thing yet, that’ll be another column). Packages arrived on a daily basis – almost as good as Christmas.

Writing was not happening as I couldn’t concentrate well enough to string together coherent words. And I really missed blogging and my fiction writing. But at least I had emails with friends to keep me company.

When I finally ventured out into the real world again. I realized how much I had missed the most basic human contact (beyond delivery people), even just chatting with someone in line at a store. I decided not to order anything online for the next few weeks and do all my shopping in person: strolling supermarket isles, trolling bookstores, fingering fabric in person, trying on makeup samples, scouring hardware store shelves for just the right screw or hook. Plus, my computer had to go into the shop for days on end, so I really didn’t have a choice.

People, people and more people. Clerks and managers and fellow shoppers.

Cranky people, indifferent managers, rude staff, pushy-shovy customers.

Salespeople in small stores often pounced on me, while large stores often left me adrift without any help – huge, sprawling stores with sooooooo many choices it was dizzying. I needed a search function to narrow down my choices!

Yeah, it was nice to be out and about interacting with other humans, briefly. But, mainly, it was incredibly time-consuming and exhausting! And often fruitless – no, I don’t mean I had trouble finding fruit – I often couldn’t find what I was looking for or flat-out gave up in exasperation. And the prices were often way, way higher than online.

So, I learned an interesting lesson: Yes, it can be nice to interact with random strangers who have something in common with you by virtue of shopping at the same place. But the time I spent NOT finding what I was looking for, and the money I spent on subway fare was so not worth it. If I’m going to spend money and time to get somewhere, I want to end up meeting friends; going to a flea market; or some fab, funky store; seeing a band – not trolling through mega-stores and tiny boutiques with salivating salespeople.

So, don’t get between me and my computer or my brand-spanking new smart phone!