December 06, 2004

Caught in a Web of life

Sometimes it feels a bit like I live my life on the Internet. I've been happily cavorting around it for a full third of my life, and it has both taken me places and taken on dimensions that I never could have imagined.

For instance, do you recall the Sandra Bullock movie, The Net? I remember seeing it when it first came out in 1995 (I have a thing for Sandra Bullock, okay? This was post-Speed and she could do no wrong, so leave me and my girl-crush alone.) and while it wasn't exactly a cinematic masterpiece, there was one scene that stuck with me long after the movie, because I thought the mere idea of it was so freaking absurd.

Near the beginning, when we see that Angela rarely leaves her house and lives a lonely but successful life as a computer debugger working from home, she goes online to order a pizza to be delivered to her. I remember thinking, "Oh, come on, you must be kidding me! Someone actually ordering a pizza over the Internet...that'll be the day!"

Now, of course, not only do we (read: I) order pizza online, but our groceries, our adult products, our health and beauty items, our dinner reservations, our movie tickets and DVDs, and pretty much anything else we can imagine, without leaving the comfort of our homes or offices. We've even made a game out of it! And it all seems so commonplace now that I feel so naive looking back at my reaction to that part of the movie at the time. Ah, what a mere decade and a dotcom revolution can do.

But there are times when I trip over the littlest of things in blogland and it makes me feel like a complete e-novice. Example: w00t! I started to see it used really regularly a few months ago, and I was stymied by what it meant. Obviously, in context it was an expression of delight and excitement, but what did it mean? What in the WWW is going on out there that I have no clue about whatsoever? How can this be? Am I that old (quiet!) and out of touch all of a sudden?

But where there's a will, there's an Internet way. Last night, when querying my brother about its meaning (after all, he's a computer geek, I figured he should know these things), he practically slapped me upside the head and said, simply, "Google it." Duh.

So that, ladies and gentlemen, is exactly what I did. And, demonstrating how amazing a resource Wikipedia is, it coughed up a comprehensive definition complete with origin theories, found here. (Why quote when one can link?) Of course, there was no great revelation in it for me -- it means exactly what I thought it meant -- but the simple comfort of knowing why the hell they put zeros in there instead of Os made my day. All is right again in my Internet world.

But right now I must bid you adieu, as I have some more Christmas shopping to go take care of tonight. Only 18 more days to go -- w00t!