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Luskin: A domain of one's own

04/06/09 7:55AM By Deborah Luskin
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(HOST) In hopes of never having to change her email address again, commentator Deborah Luskin has bought a domain of her own.

(LUSKIN) Two short years ago, I was complaining that my dial-up connection was like living on an unpaved section of the information highway. Then DSL arrived and I was able to establish a wireless network inside my home.  This in turn allows me to work next to the woodstove instead of being confined to my inadequately heated office. But during a recent power outage, my network went down - and stayed down.
    
I was able to maintain a high-speed connection by plugging into an Ethernet cable, but it was like being an astronaut on a space walk, tethered to the cyberspace mothership. Computer access in my office was cumbersome and chilly. I wanted to bask by the fire and write, so I took my non-functioning modem to my computer guy, for reprogramming. Back home, my network is working again.
   
Meanwhile, like many Vermonters, my Internet Service Provider switched hands. This was not a seamless transition, and despite promises that email would migrate to our new accounts, a great deal of electronic correspondence has landed in the email equivalent of the Dead Letter Office, or maybe these messages are just orbiting the earth like so much space age debris. We'll never know.
   
What bothered me most was my new domain name - 'my fair point dot net'. My Fair Point? I don't think so. I'm a self-respecting, middle-aged woman; I correspond with clients by email; the last thing I want is a domain name that reminds me of adolescence and strawberry scented lip-gloss. Besides, I'd already had to change my email address when I switched to DSL. I wasn't keen on having to change it again. After all, I hadn't moved. So, I took matters into my own hands and bought a domain of my own.
   
Lest you think that I'm some kind of technological wizard, let me set you straight: A friend helped me buy it on line, at a site called Go Daddy.

Go Daddy? Oh, please!
   
You see, I'm a newcomer to all this. It wasn't until graduate school, in the mid- nineteen eighties, that I traded in my electric typewriter for a word processor. In the mid-nineties, I added email and household accounting to my electronic skills. Gradually, I've come to rely on the internet for everything from news and weather to medical and literary research.

But just as my grandparents compared life in America to the Europe of their youth, I remember life before the internet. Like most immigrants, I'm trying to adjust to this brave new world while preserving the dignity of my pre-digital birth. And dignity, for me, does not include an internet address beginning with a personal possessive pronoun.
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