Shiny Internet Syndrome

A brief history of virtual encounters and tech tales, from adolescence to adulthood.

June 05, 2023   •   3 min read  

I have been a full-time internet addict since my very early teens.

I remember being fascinated by the colourful array of iMac G3's that entered our school's IT room, just in time for my final year of primary school.

There was nothing more exciting than looking forward to our class's allocation of computer time.

It seemed like one minute we were innocently learning facts from Encyclopedia Britannica and the next we were playing Duke Nukem 3D behind the teacher's back.

A year or two later in high school, a whole new internet landscape opened up in front of me.

Like clockwork, I would finish school for the day and embrace that sweet symphony of the dial-up modem. Filling my afternoons sedated on AOL Chat, ICQ or MSN.

When conversations started to wind down I would find myself playing Survivor-themed forum games, and scrolling dicey websites like

Before I knew it Myspace quickly took over my generation.

Between ranking our Top 8 friends and torrenting music from Kazaa or Limewire, life was great. Despite it being clouded with teen angst and emo tendencies at the time.

The next moment of fascinating internet technology that stood out to me was when someone presented this thing called an iPhone.

At first, I was confused about what this device had to offer compared to the Nokia phones we had grown to love in the years prior.

How can Apple compete with Snake and true-tone ringtones?

A few short months later, I signed my first contract. Delegating a large percentage of my weekly paycheck to my phone provider so I too could have one of those otherworldly gadgets.

What followed seemed like a month-long stint going down the App Store rabbit hole trying every app from Touchgrind to Paper Toss.

Then social media entered the equation and the next 10 years just seemed to unfold in a heartbeat.

Facebook. Twitter. YouTube, Instagram, Snapchat, Vine, Periscope, TikTok.

Not to mention the dozens I never used or were shortlived.

Fast forward a little further and I was introduced to the concept of cryptocurrency and blockchain technology.

Somewhere, it saddens me to admit, I have some lost Bitcoin on an old computer.

Insignificant change from a purchase of Modafinil on Silk Road during my university degree - now worth a fortune (or at least my student loan debt).

I even started my first blog on Steemit, a blockchain-based social media platform, whilst I was trying to start my career as a Nutritionist after graduation.

My latest online obsession is AI (ChatGPT and Midjourney) and the immeasurable benefits and creativity that they can offer in every aspect of life.

Why am I telling you all of this?

Well, I love the joy and curiosity the Internet has brought into my life.

I consider myself one of the lucky and fortunate ones that was born at a time when the Internet grew up and matured alongside me.

It will forever be interwoven with my existence.

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