surf's up : a day in the life of a net nerd

Don your anorak and hold on to your hood ... it's all go on the global superhighway
Click to follow
Indy Lifestyle Online
PEOPLE who wouldn't know what a Web page was if it came and downloaded itself on to their bottom are always telling me to "Get a life!" What can they mean?

9.00am: I awake to the sound of an alarm I'd downloaded from the Web the day before. I can wake up later than most as the trip to the office is a few steps from bed to desk.

9.03am: My morning routine is depressingly corporeal, involving the consumption and expulsion of food matter. The Internet is of little assistance ... I feel very un-cyber as I splash about in my satsuma bubbles in my all too solid bath. I compensate by dressing in the most cyber-looking clothes I have - a tight silver lame shirt and silvery satin pants.

9.30am: Work. This is too easy ... as a journo and production editor working on an Internet magazine, spending a day on the Internet takes little explaining to the boss.

9.35am: I email my editor to let him know I'm dutifully waiting for some work to be mailed to me. Meanwhile I'll be dutifully doing some research (i.e. flicking through Web pages, and having a laugh). To make up for my disappointing morning so far, I do a search for resources on toilets and breakfasts.

10.00am: I get distracted by the latest Dilbert cartoons and pictures purporting to be from Kurt Cobain's autopsy. Finally I find "The Breakfast Club". Not the movie, but a collection of postings from a bunch of (presumably) software engineering students at Purdue University in the US. These are my heroes. They work on code (on their home pages) all night, then drag themselves to the cafe for 6.30am breakfasts and sugar-jag/ Cap'n Crunch- induced low-jinks of the basest kind. I thrill at the sense of community to be found on this supposedly soul-less medium. I quote: "I awakened just in time to start the day with a tasty breakfast ... no one else was there. I don't know if I can ever eat breakfast again. Eating alone was terrible."

But surely, you're never alone on the Net? I said ... to no one.

10.30am: The rest of the morning passes smoothly, if dully, in work. It's easy to download the copy from the mag's FTP site, sub it, then send it back the way it came. Words and pictures can be sent from writer to editor to printer in minutes. Late copy can no longer be blamed on the post. This leads to more imaginative excuses such as: "You can't have the article because I haven't done it yet."

1.00pm: Again, the Internet fails as a provider of solid nutrition. Yes, you can order all sorts of edible delicacies and delicious beverages from your computer, but most of the online suppliers are in the US, so your scooby snacks would be pretty soggy by the time they arrived. I did find some handy nutrition tips, though, from the Web page of a "non-corporeal being" called "Myriad". Myriad suggested I should let my body choose my food by resting my hand over a food item and waiting to see if I got a "buzz" from it. I went to the fridge. The chocolate cheesecake positively grabbed my hand and leapt into it.

3.45pm: Staring at a screen all day has given me a headache. Time to check out the Internet healing page. I place my hand on the screen and click; the screen erupts into a barrage of flashing lights. I can now no longer feel my headache, as my whole brain has gone into complete seizure.

6.00pm-3.00am: I knock off work and begin surfing, reading cartoons, watching movie clips, listening to the latest music, catching up on gossip about the stars, arguing with strangers about the threat of guinea pigs to civilisation and playing games in a parallel universe where I am rich, clever and popular. And you think I'm sad?

Comments