Some where in an imaginary meeting room the following scene is taking place:
“Hello… My name is Stuart and I am an addict.”
A small round of applause follows from the other people sitting in the circle.
“I’ve been clean for almost a week now since my provider cut me off due to an administrative error. It’s not been easy. Even after losing my supply I had to hit rock bottom before I was willing to admit I had a problem.”
“At first I started walking the streets at night with my laptop, looking for a new supply. All I needed was a little bandwidth to keep me going. I didn’t even care where it came from. Any unsecured wireless network would have been enough to ease the pain of my addiction. I am not proud of it. I even started looking through bins for old 58k modems.”
For a moment I feel like the memories are too painful for me to talk about but a member of the circle puts their hand on my shoulder and gives me a supportive look.
“When I was unable to find an unprotected connection I started abusing my friends trust. I would visit them just to check my email and steal a little bandwidth from them. Sometimes when the withdrawal was really bad I would beg them day and night to download files for me.
“I finally knew I had hit rock bottom when I started actually seeking out penis enlargement and Viagra adverts as a substitute for spam emails.”
A few members of the circle nod in a way that lets me know I am not the only one who has been down this path.
“Since then I have been adjusting to life with out the internet one day at a time. Sometimes I still feel like I would do anything just to be able to log into World of Warcraft for a few seconds or check the internet movie database to settle an argument about how many movies Alec Baldwin has been in but I am slowly learning to cope. I hope that one day I will be completely over my internet addiction… Thank you for listening.”
Another round of applause follows as I sit down. When the next person stands and starts to speak my mind drifts off and I wonder if there is an internet café anywhere nearby.
In a few days time my internet connection should be reactivated and normal blog service will be restored. Until that time would someone mind downloading a file for me? I just need a little bandwidth.