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Title: Not Enough Smiley Faces This Is A Light Hearted Personal Essay About Addiction To Aol

998 words - 4 pages

Not Enough Smiley Faces:-) =-O :-$ :-\ :-( :-* :-! :'( ;-) >:o :-[ :-X :-P 8-) O:-) :-DIt all started with my bad habit of copying everything that my sister did. She always hated it, and now that I am older, I only wish she had done something to stop me before this plague completely disrupted my life. Not that it would have made a huge difference, but it would certainly have bought me time. The time I should have had to indulge in the sound of human speech, time to spend outside on the green grass, away from the glowing green of the power button, time away from the oddly shaped box on a desk, with tens of buttons that my fingers recognized as a child would a mother, which with time began to function as my voice. I was about 12 years old when this revolutionary idea entered my life. I was addicted to AIM, and for several years, I was in denial. I refused my parents' suggestions that I seek help, and begin the next stage of my life where I would be free of this curse. With my refusal came attempts to forcefully bring me back to normality, but I managed to shrug that aside as well, and continued my strange way of life.I had an away message for every occasion, and I would rarely leave without saying where I was, my mood, when I would be back, and where one would be most likely to reach me. The crucial ones were saved, and there came a point where I could no longer think of clever titles for them which would instantaneously trigger my memory to remember their content. It was so simple to describe what I was feeling; with the convenient smiley faces that did not require much more than my pressing "shift" and a number. It seemed so handy, and an ideal way to be rid of misconceptions of my reaction to someone's words. I could think through how I wanted to present my reply, and the appropriate smiley for the situation. Upon meeting someone, we would often exchange screen names within the first 10 minutes of conversation, followed by what we may or may not have had in common. I would get to know someone on Instant Messenger, and I had categories set up on my buddy list as to whom I knew from where, whom I liked and whom I kept for the sole purpose of seeing how much time he or she spent online. There were people that I labeled as ones I talked to always, usually, seldom, and never, and the names of the classifications changed about once a month. I found it extremely practical that I could converse with several people at once, and I became better friends with people I would never have approached face to face. My vocabulary diminished as I searched for ways to abbreviate, with brb, ttyl, bbs, and lol becoming a part of my standard expressions. One could easily measure...

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