Friday night topic: How the Internet changed your life

In the mid-90s, I was in grad school, on the path to a second degree in the study of religion, when the burgeoning commercial Internet took hold of me and never let go. I launched a career in system and network administration, and shortly thereafter launched a parallel track in tech-related web journalism. Eventually, running TR became my primary occupation, and here I am today. Without the 'net, I probably would have wound up teaching religion at a small college somewhere or something along those lines. Instead, my life has been very different, and I'm happy for it.

Of course, all of our lives are rather different now in a host of big and small ways, with the always-on wireless Internet in our pockets. I remember when talking on the phone meant being chained to a wall, for goshsakes.

Still, regardless of age, I suspect many of you have stories much like my own, in some way or another. So I'll ask: how has the Internet changed your life? How would your life be different without it, for better and for worse? Or do you think your life would be pretty much the same without the 'net? If so, why? Discuss.

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