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23 Jan

On the other hand, the themes Carol outlines feel relevant to 2017: the internet is a place of constant stimulation, endless communication, of addiction and compulsion, of misery, a dazzling vortex and a black hole.

‘I was as addicted to chatting as others are to drugs, alcohol or gambling,’ she writes.

I’ve always enjoyed the semi-utopian narratives authored by early internet users, how they often describe the online text-world as a space for exploration, unimpeded sociality, and electronic intimacy.

I am also intrigued by Carol Parker, who seems to have been part of some sort of internet vanguard in Australia in the 1990s.

Monroe is being pulled into this digital vortex, too, and judging by her open-mouthed smile, she seems ready or excited for whatever awaits her on the other side. The blurb reads: Gersh: Let’s go someplace quiet honey … Geekgirl: It’s not all I need : )And so begins Australian Carol Parker’s long and torrid journey into the world of cybersex, a world that will eventually take over her marriage, her work and most of her waking life….

It was published by a company called Mandarin in Melbourne in 1997.

Carol chooses an Alice in Wonderland avatar and calls herself Alicia.

It is a day when compulsion is getting the better of me.

I have plenty of work to do, and a clear list written, setting out my day, task by task.

As she explores this new world, she is captivated by being able to speak to people from different countries at the same time.

‘It felt like I was actually inside the computer, interacting with these people,’ she writes.