A few years ago, my grandma asked me what the internet was. Knowing her limited capacity and patience for new information, I came up with this analogy.
The internet is like a street, I told her. Going online is like leaving your house and walking down the street. Along the street are lots of buildings: a library, a grocery store, a friend's house, a train station, a newsstand, a game room. You can stop in at any of these buildings. On the internet, they're called websites. You can peruse Shakespeare at a library site. You can order Sunday dinner from a grocery site. You can chat with a friend at their home site. You can buy a train ticket at a station site, look at the latest headlines at a news site, play Solitaire at a game site. It's wonderful!
I thought I was impressing her with my clever description. But she just shook her head.
I'd never get any exercise, she said. Besides, I like moseying next door to get a slice of fresh-baked coffee cake at my neighbor's house. I like picking up stuff in the produce section, smelling if the melons are ripe. I even like the way the playing cards feel when I shuffle them on my kitchen table.
She's right, of course. The internet is a fabulous tool, but it plays to only two senses, sight and sound. We all need to get up from the computer once in a while before we turn into virtual creatures of habit.
So after you read this, why not do something for your neglected senses? Find a fragrant flower (my favorite is my Sutter's Gold rose) and give it a good whiff. Buy a single piece of your favorite candy to savor (anything with nuts and chocolate for me). Give someone a warm and heartfelt hug.
Then you can go back to your computer and your virtual toys.
Sarah McKerrigan... Stories to keep you up all night. LADY DANGER Riding to the rescue April 2006