Title: Not Enough Smiley Faces this is a light hearted personal essay about addiction to AOL

Essay by Regina2004High School, 10th gradeA+, May 2003

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Not Enough Smiley Faces

:-) =-O :-$ :-\ :-( :-* :-! :'( ;-) >:o :-[ :-X :-P 8-) O:-) :-D

It all started with my bad habit of copying everything that my sister did. She always hated it, and now that I am older, I only wish she had done something to stop me before this plague completely disrupted my life. Not that it would have made a huge difference, but it would certainly have bought me time. The time I should have had to indulge in the sound of human speech, time to spend outside on the green grass, away from the glowing green of the power button, time away from the oddly shaped box on a desk, with tens of buttons that my fingers recognized as a child would a mother, which with time began to function as my voice. I was about 12 years old when this revolutionary idea entered my life.

I was addicted to AIM, and for several years, I was in denial. I refused my parents' suggestions that I seek help, and begin the next stage of my life where I would be free of this curse. With my refusal came attempts to forcefully bring me back to normality, but I managed to shrug that aside as well, and continued my strange way of life.

I had an away message for every occasion, and I would rarely leave without saying where I was, my mood, when I would be back, and where one would be most likely to reach me. The crucial ones were saved, and there came a point where I could no longer think of clever titles for them which would instantaneously trigger my memory to remember their content. It was so simple to describe what I was feeling; with the convenient...