It's no secret that I'm a computer nerd. I remember in high school (class of 1993 baby!) I received the "Most Likely To Start an Internet Dating Site" superlative - and for real, this was back before the Internet was all huge. I was a co-sysop of a Bulletin Board and seriously, I geeked out big time on there. I've always been a computer junkie since then. Besides a brief stint with bartending all of my jobs were computer related and most of free time was spent on a computer. Sad, I know.

So during South Carolina's Snowmageddon 2014 I watched a documentary called We Are Legion, which is about Hacktivists. It was truly interesting to see how Anonymous originally formed. As the story took you through the formation of Anonymous and how it evolved, it struck me as so amazing, how the Internet culture has merged in with real life. And it hit me instantly how different the digital world is now.

Back in the day, you had handles and your identity was whatever you wanted it to be. Now, it's linked to your Google profile and to your LinkedIn. What you do on the internet now has a huge repercussion to your everyday life. And I'm not sure that back in the day, people really ever thought it would be like this. The Internet 15 years ago was like the wild west... it was savage, it was unexplored and usually, you went out to see what you could find and you came back scarred in some way.

Does anyone remember IRC anymore? I remember logging onto mIRC and an underground world was at your fingertips. There were channels for downloading music, hacking tools, movies, or just chatting with a channel full of other people.

The Internet has evolved so strangely and so wonderfully. But it's scary. We rely so heavily on the Internet and in all reality, it's so fragile. I know as I grew up with the Internet, I never would have seen it as it is today. I love technology, I love the advancements we make. But even with advancements it seems we take steps backwards. Instead of the Internet being a place of acceptance and one-worldness, it's angry and it's dangerous. You make one post on FaceBook or tweet an opinion on something and see how quickly it can escalate. It's like a double edged sword... you are free to share your opinions no matter what it is, but be prepared for the aftermath that comes. We want freedom of information, to all information but information is dangerous and sometimes it's scary. 

Anonymous was formed and I had I not pushed out of the Internet culture during that time, I could have seen myself being a big part of the initial movement. Like the Internet, Anonymous has evolved and I'm not sure I really agree with everything they do anymore. But it's amazing to see how Internet culture could push at least 3 major world events. It's awesome and scary at the same time.

I have such good memories of what the Internet was, I love what it is and I wonder what it will grow into. And I wonder if that's something I even want to be a part of later.