Get Online? Why would I do that?
Are you one of the nine million people in the UK who has never used the internet?
Daft question, I know: if you are reading this, you have already discovered the wonders of the web. But perhaps this week you - and I - could do more to help explain to others why we find it useful.
Today is the beginning of Get Online week, and the BBC, with its First Click campaign, is putting in a big effort across radio and television to help spread the message that the internet can make a real difference to anyone's life.
Vanessa Feltz presents Net Rescue, 2000
But, as I found out on Saturday when I went on the Vanessa Feltz show on Radio London to talk about the campaign, some people are going to be hard to convince.
Vanessa told me she had never been on the web or even sent an e-mail - and she confessed she thought it was mad that she was being made to promote the idea on her show.
This seems especially ironic, since a web search tells me that in 2000, BBC1 offered a "week-long series in which Vanessa Feltz discovers if and how the Internet can make life easier".
When she asked me to explain why I found the internet indispensable I burbled a bit about online bargains and checking the weather and I fear she was not won over. But I'm not giving up that easily - if we can't woo to the web a media personality like Vanessa Feltz, how are we going to make an impact on the rest of the nine million refuseniks?
I decided what was needed was not abstract meanderings about a life-changing technology, but some concrete examples. So I set out to record the various ways I used the internet over the weekend - and work out what my life would be like without it. Here is what you might call my weekend weblog.
Friday 1900: The weekly grocery shopping arrives at the door, ordered online. No money saved, but that's an hour we don't spend at the supermarket
2030: Watch this week's edition of Have I Got News For You via the BBC iPlayer. I'd forgotten to record it - without the internet option I'd have missed the programme.
2230: Reading a long book about politics downloaded onto an e-reader. I still read "real" books, but the electronic option is great if you don't want to lug a heavy hardback with you wherever you go.
Saturday 0800: Out for a run with the dog while listening to the podcast of the Simon Mayo and Mark Kermode film review. I'm addicted to Dr Kermode's fabulous film rants - and Simon Mayo's deadpan asides - without the advent of the podcast, I'd rarely hear a programme which goes out on a Friday afternoon.
0900: The postman arrives with a book about conspiracy theories ordered from an online bookshop. An impulse buy, bought with one click the day before, and already in my hands.
1230: My nephew, who lives in Uganda, is on a rare visit to London and drops by for lunch. He has an interest in technology, and I start telling him about a story I've written recently - he stops me and tells me he knows, because he follows me on Twitter. I find that social networks are helping to keep me in touch with friends and relatives I rarely see.
1600: I spend a frustrating hour trying to install Windows on a Mac computer so that I can try out the latest version of Skype. Give up, and use my son's computer which runs Windows. Have a high-definition video chat with old friend who I haven't seen for months. Messing around with computers can be a huge waste of time - but they can transform the way we communicate.
1900: A quiet evening in, watching the television - and keeping an eye on the constant flow of commentary on Twitter about Strictly Come Dancing and X Factor. Some kinds of TV just work better with a sarcastic online chorus to enjoy.
Sunday 0930: Reading the Sunday papers - yes, the old-fashioned dead-tree variety. I now get a lot of my news on various digital devices, but do still find paper quite a compelling "form factor" with toast and marmalade.
1045: In the garden, planting bulbs while listening to the Archers Omnibus via a smartphone app which just about works as long as I don't stray too far from the household wi-fi network. There is a plotline in the Archers involving elderly residents having computer lessons - wonder what that's about?
1400: At my computer doing some work for Monday. I listen again to the Vanessa Feltz show via the iPlayer, and then set about editing a clip from an interview with Martha Lane Fox, the government's Digital Champion. Unable to meet her on Friday, I asked her to record her end of a phone conversation on her smartphone and then e-mail it to me. The audio quality is not bad at all, and when I've finished my edit, I upload it to the BBC server in seconds via my fast home broadband connection. The internet has transformed the way I work, though it has also meant that it fills far more of my waking hours.
Work, rest or play, my life would not be the same without the internet, and I cannot imagine getting along without it. But everybody is different, and many of the nine million who are not online will feel that they get along quite nicely as they are, thank you, and could we please stop preaching at them.
One person, however, surely needs to get with the programme. Vanessa Feltz told me that when listeners send e-mails to firstname.lastname@example.org her team has to print them out for her to read. So maybe they can now print out this blog post for her. Vanessa, are you listening? Come on in, the water's lovely.