04/02/2014 23:35 GMT | Updated 20/05/2015 10:12 BST

The Importance Of Being Online


It's at this time of year I realise how much more difficult life used to be before the internet.
Yes, I am THAT old I can remember life before you were able to search online for everything your heart desired! In fact, I can recall one day at work in the late 1990s when a colleague suggested I try a new-fangled search engine called Google... googling

It freaks me out that there are grown humans, living and working alongside me, who do not know what it's like to exist in a world without email.

But seriously, now that I've returned to work 4 days a week, juggling my office duties with all the demands of family life and trying to squeeze some socialising in between. I can really appreciate the world wide web and everything it enables me to achieve at the touch of a keyboard.

In the last month I've used the internet to get most of my shopping.
I've used it to get a good deal on our Summer holiday next year (hooray!)
I've booked train journeys, reserved theatre tickets, emailed childminders, made hair appointments, checked timetables for after-school activities, messaged friends via social media, done internet banking... and blogged.

Blogging has become a part of daily life and introduced me to the most supportive community of parents I could ever hope to meet.

And when I say meet, I have no doubt I wouldn't know any of them without the internet since many have become online friends who live so far away I haven't actually had the pleasure of coming face to face with them.

But we swap tips, share our stories of triumph and woe, seek advice and enjoy a good laugh.
pubI have friends who have met their current partners via the internet. So relationships in all forms have evolved.

My current job was recommended to me by a friend who messaged me via Facebook - a friend I probably wouldn't have been able to keep in touch with if it wasn't for social media. So without the world wide web my world would be a lot more strapped for cash!

Plus we have an internet phone at home- giving us free calls to landlines, so our bills don't get too high.

So at this time of year when I'm thinking about what I'm most thankful for, I'm grateful to the magic of broadband and all the opportunities it brings for socialising, shopping, work opportunities, saving money, and generally making more time in my day to spend with loved ones. Thankful for the internet, and thanks for being an important part of my life for more than 20 years.

Longer than I've known my husband, and a lot more useful. (But sssshhhhhh, don't tell him I said that!)

Donna is a Geordie lass, married to a Lancashire lad, and mum to 2 lively boys who were born in Jersey - now all living in Scotland. Confused? Don't worry. So is she most of the time!

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