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Meet the Columnist

Columnist, Sheila Moss, is humor writer from  Tennessee. She writes  a weekly human interest column about daily life and the funny things that happen to everyone.

   She has written for  the Daily News of Kingsport,   Griffin Journal, Oakridge Now, Atlanta Woman Magazine, Aberdeen Examiner, Angleton Advocate,  and Smyrna AM, a supplement of the Murfreesboro Daily News Journal. She has been published by Voyageur Press, McGraw Hill, and the good folks at Guidepost Books.  Her articles have appeared in numerous anthologies and other publications, both in print and online.

    She is a former board member and past  Editor of  the, website of  the National Society of Newspaper Columnists, the oldest and largest professional organization for columnists. She is the Web Editor of Southern  and  a founder of the Southern Humorists writers' organization. She is writer, editor, and webmaster of

    To carry her weekly column in your newspaper, or to republish an article, please contact her. It's that easy. 

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Online New Year....

Happy Online New Year

This is the time of the year when people make New Year's Resolutions, resolving to change all things wrong in life and turn over a new leaf -- to stop smoking, to lose weight, to clean closets, watch less television and remember to walk the dog. Within a week, according to studies, all of the resolutions have been broken.

So, I've decided not to resolve to do things that I can't or won't do. Instead of spending less time on the computer, I've decided to resolve to spend more time on the computer than I do now. While this may seem easy to some, it might be more difficult than it appears. After all, I have to sleep sometime.

It is true that my behind is already beginning to spread from spending so much time sitting on it in front of the flashing screen. But look at it this way, for all the behind-numbing time I spend online, my mind is also expanding -- reading news, searching for information, being educated. Never mind the time I spent on Facebook.

I could take up computer games. That is something I don't do now as games use up too much time unproductively. But many people seem to find a lot of pleasure and entertainment with computer games. Of course, games will be difficult to fit into my already overcrowded online schedule.

Unfortunately, I'm hooked on eBay and love to buy from Amazon. Ah, the stories I could tell about the bargains I've found, the free postage, the great deals -- the money and time I've wasted that I'd rather not think about.

Let me think. I'm keeping up three websites. The websites are probably the reason for most of the time I'm spending in cyber space. But, "If you want something done, ask a busy person," they say. If I had a couple more websites to keep up, this would be the perfect rational reason for spending time on the computer.

Unfortunately, there are still a few things that you can't do while sitting in front of the flat screen. There is the time I spend commuting to and from work, the grocery shopping and the occasional house cleaning that must be done. It can be hard to take time away from the ever-waiting computer for the necessities of life.

I've found that an iPhone is immensely helpful for sneaking in computer time when you are in a car, in line at the grocery store, or while waiting at the doctor's office. People used to be on cell phones talking to friends during down time or while shopping or driving. Now, with smart phones, they are checking email or surfing the net.

Now that I think of it, I don't know how much more time I can spend online than I do already. I go to bed late because I have to finish one more blog. I get up early to check email before I go to work. I eat in front of the computer instead of in front of the television like the rest of the world.

I spend weekends and holidays surfing the net or reading about what my online friends are doing in my newsgroups, and what they are saying on Twitter. I never find out about anything new from television or newspapers anymore. I find out because it is on Yahoo's homepage. I can't remember what the inside of a library looks like. Why go to a library to do research when there is Google?

I read (online) that Facebook is now the most popular website on the internet, which tells me I am not the only one spending more time on the net than ever before. Apparently, a lot of people are making the same resolution as mine.

I would like to go take a nap now, but I'm willing to stay online a bit longer, not because I'm addicted to the internet but only to keep my New Year's resolution.

Copyright 2011 Sheila Moss


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