Good morning and welcome to Summit Up, the world's only column that is nursing its addiction to the Internet.
Ever since the blow-up success of sites like Facebook and Twitter, it seems like every few minutes a new social network website pops up, eager to connect us to friends and strangers through whatever means necessary - photos, craft and recipe ideas, weird news stories, celebrity gossip or the need to find a date on Saturday night. Yet no matter how many websites like this pop up, there are always people who will take the time to think up a clever username, click the email confirmation button and then start sending invitations to all their friends.
What is it, exactly, that's so compelling about setting up a profile and sharing things with others? Well, we humans are social beings, after all, and when we have a good or a bad day, when our kid or pet does something mischievous or adorable, or when we find something cool on the Internet, all we really want to do is share it with the world.
A couple of us here at Summit Up World Headquarters have recently taken the plunge that is Pinterest, a website that basically acts like a giant community bulletin board, allowing users to "pin" interesting photos and quotes for others to see. Turns out, it combines just the right amount of visual stimulation (ooh, shiny!) and simple, repetitive motion (click, click) to make it addicting. Very addicting. Like, stay up past midnight addicting.
For those who feel like social media should be working for you, there's the professional connection network LinkedIn, which is basically the result of Facebook having a baby with a resume building site.
While the Internet is full of surprises (anything from the New York Times to a site that simulates popping bubble wrap), it just can't be a solid substitute to being outdoors. Especially with news of snow on the horizon. We're sure that you Millions of Summit Up Readers are just as excited about that as we are, if not more excited. And if you don't feel like going to the mountain, you can always curl up on the couch with a soft blanket, a cup of hot steaming cocoa, and follow the Internet down its long, twisting rabbit hole of social media sites. Good luck, we out.