Thursday, 30 June 2011

The superhighway to friendship

My computer network has been acting up, for a week or so. Or possibly it's my computers. But both of them at the same time? And my shiny new smartphone as well? No, it's the network, I'm pretty sure.

I can get online. But not wirelessly. And I can only access certain websites.
I've gone through a lengthy process of:
  1. Swear
  2. Hit side of computer
  3. Reboot computer
  4. Restart router
  5. Change settings on router
  6. Change them back again when that didn't work
  7. Panic when I think I've changed them back wrong
  8. And repeat
Now I think I may have to resort to Getting A Man In, which I really resent. I'm a long way from being a tech-head, but I can sort out most things that mess up on the computer. This, however, seems to have defeated me.

Anyway, it's got me to thinking. Since I became disabled, I've spent far more time at home than ever before. In such a situation, it's very easy to become socially isolated. You possibly can't get out as often or as easily to meet friends, you quickly lose contact with work acquaintances, family may begin to resent always having to come to see you instead of travelling being shared.

Access to the internet opens up a huge range of existing and new social contacts: whether it's the ease of emailing, without needing to get out to a postbox; Skype or other free voice chat with someone on the other side of the world; making contact with other people with the same condition, in a chatroom, on a Facebook group, or through a Twitter hashtag; even just, as I did this morning on Twitter, discovering that someone I already chatted to also endures severe pain (we fell on each others' necks like twins separated at birth).
Disabled people are less likely to be online than non-disabled, and that's a real shame. I think we really need it, and for more things than ordering pizzas and viewing porn. Valuable as those activities are...


  1. So true. If I didn't have internet I's maybe talk to 2 or 3 people a week, and would probably end up majorly depressed


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