Just hearing the word Internet sets my mind flying with images of my favorite Gone With the Wind sites and their lesser known pictures of Clark Gable, Web sites of my favorite artists and singers, my wondrous e-mail account, and my own Web site, which I created in a computer class at school. Like so many teenagers, I feel a thrill when I hear the word Internet because it's a place where I can connect with people from around the world, visit their Web sites, and read their own words, sometimes in their own languages. It's a place where so much is accessible to me.

In my daily life, however, I steer away from ideas that I don't want to take part in or learn about. For example, I don't listen to some music that my friends listen to; I don't especially like football; nor do I read certain books. In the same way, I'm selective about what Web sites I visit.

Most services, information, and products found on the Internet were available before the Net arrived. For example, though many families are now relying on Internet food services to deliver groceries, they have always had access to groceries at the supermarket. I used to connect with my friends from camp by writing letters to them, but now I can e-mail them and tell them sooner about the math test from hell I took that morning.

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December 4, 2000

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