I'd always been happier in one-on-one conversations in quiet rooms. It reduced the risk of people talking over each other, thus creating white noise and excluding me from participating.
You can imagine then the glee with which I encountered my first e-mail. This was perfect! A series of personal discussions, with as many friends as were online, cutting through time-zones across the whole world.
It was like the universe opened a door and hailed me with a welcoming, "Come on in! The water's great!"
It should have come as no surprise therefore to learn that Vinton Cerf (who led the programming of the world's first commercial email program) is partially deaf. He's a man also responsible for many other aspects that are now fundamental to the world wide web. Cerf is Google's vice-president for a start.
Then there were forums, live chats happening with dozens of people typing away. I was not required to hear. No-one asked, nor needed to know, whether I was fully hearing, deaf or any permutation between.
For the first time in my life, such considerations were irrelevant. I stood and fell on my own merit, without worrying about suppressing my frustrations nor if I'd heard all of the facts.
There is no deafness on the internet. At least not unless you're checking out a video or being linked to a song.
Of course, verbal chat programs, like Skype and Vent do occasionally allow the real world factors to play out online too. But you have the option of side-stepping them without feeling like you're missing the best part.
Or, like I do, you keep to conversations solely with those aware of your limitations, and who will ensure that they are never an issue.
For me, it wasn't so much the Age of Technology and Information, but the Age of Joining Human Society.