I really love the Internet, and I am so grateful for it! I'm prompted to mention it tonight because of the amazing support group it provides. Aside from blogs and facebook, you can find support for just about any problem you might be having. Cat peeing on your bed? Lots of other people feel your pain. (This is not my current problem, thank goodness, but I have been there!) Dog won't stay out of the cat's food? Well, you might not find a solution, but it can be comforting to read about everyone else complaining about it. When Sunny had that little episode of HSP a few years ago, I mentioned it on my blog, and someone invited me to support groups for it. There I read horror stories that made me feel even more blessed that her episode was so short and has not recurred.
And if you have something quirky going on in your body (my reason tonight), you can hop on and type into a search engine for ideas. Can you get a definitive diagnosis? Probably not. Can you get scared by all the serious things it might be? Sure. ("I thought we agreed that you'd come to me before checking Starfleet Medical Database." Dr. Beverly Crusher to Lt. Reginald Barclay, Star Trek: The Next Generation, "Genesis.") In my case, it could be anything from a vitamin deficiency to something a lot more serious requiring years of treatment and surgery. It was just really comforting, though, to read all the other people on one of the ask-question pages that said, "Hey, this has been happening to me, too!" It's always nice to know we're not alone when we're in pain or confused.
On a happier note, I love shopping online (Christmas shopping and shipping in one stop!). I also enjoy searching for information just for the sake of learning. I can get seriously lost on Wikipedia, especially after reading historical fiction or watching a documentary. I don't have to take my kids to the library for research projects, either (at this age)--they do it all from my computer. I can research everything from windshields to spiders from my family room.
So hooray for the Internet! I know we all used to live without it, but its prevalence coincided so neatly with my own advent into adulthood that I do not know what life was like as an adult in that pre-Internet world. I'm so grateful I was born in this era!