Thursday, January 19, 2012

I Love Internet


I love lamp...but today I am even MORE in love with Internet.  All of the SOPA & PIPA frenzy yesterday got me to do three things:
  1. Shut down my blog for a day to put my "money" (proverbially speaking, of course because I don't actually get paid to ramble like this) where my mouth is.
  2. Spam my illustrious team of elected good-old-boys, Boswell, Harkin, & Grassley (click here to find your Representative & here to find your Senators), to let them know how I feel about the issue.
  3. Think about what the Internet has done for me.
When I wrote my note to my officials, I decided to avoid the greater issues of censorship (which are truly huge!) in favor of a more individual & human approach.  Let's face it, no one is actually going to read it--it will just be filed with all the other "vote no" emails.  But it made me feel good & for once in my life I was concise!  Here is what I wrote:

Dear ________,
I am a constituent for whom the Internet served an integral role in saving my life.  Not because I accessed some bit of lifesaving information on a medical website or was able to look up first responders in an online phone book, but because I blogged.

In 2010 I weighed 269 lbs. I worked hard, I shed some weight, I hit a wall & then I found my voice. Through I tackled my demons & was able to dig into all of the issues that made me obese, unhealthy & unhappy. 

Under SOPA or PIPA I might not have been safe to find that voice. I get comments on a regular basis, comments that post links. Under your legislation I would be responsible for both my own content & that of others. 

As a would-be writer, I appreciate the value of intellectual property. As a now 140 lb, healthy mother of two, I understand that some things are more important.
Sara Miller

And then I started to really cogitate (Dave, consider the use of "your" word your loving gesture for the day), on what the blog means to me.  What if I lived in a world where sites like Blogger didn't exist because they couldn't afford to keep themselves afloat under the pressure of liability for their user content?  How does that change my individual life? 

When I started blogging I was in a quagmire.  I had lost about 70 lbs with a lot of hard work & dedication--& I was still obese.  I was upset, in fact I was sinking into a depression kicked off with a two week crying jag.  People were telling me how good I looked & what a great job I had done (all true!) but all I could hear bouncing between my ears was "And look how much farther you still have to go."  I had put in the physical time, but I hadn't really stopped to think about how & why I had gotten to be 269 lbs.  Without doing that work, I was just spinning my wheels & waiting for the relapse monster to come & get me.  When I received a few unrelated, unsolicited prods to start writing about it, something clicked.  The flood came rushing out & I started the process of fixing my brain & my heart to match up with my process of fixing my body.  I have no doubt that without my blog, my two weeks of crying would have extended on into months & then years.  The 70 lbs would have been forfeit & New Sara wouldn't be here today.  And I love New Sara--can't imagine life without her. 

Shedding pounds (in my own opinion, based on NO science in the slightest) is 60% what's in your head, 30% what's in your mouth & 10% what you're doing with your body.  Blogging helped me with 60% of my task. 

There are three posts (here, here & here) that I go back & re-read on a fairly regular basis.  These are my anchors.  They have pulled me out of slumps & on to "the next pound" many many many times.  Where would I be without them?  

I love Internet.

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