My dad taught me to play chess as a kid. Thanks, Dad! :) I used to play chess in high school, but then I dropped it for a long time. Nobody I knew really enjoyed playing it. Eventually, I started playing against various computer programs, like Battle Chess, Chessmaster 3000, and gnuchess.
The problem with playing against a computer opponent is that I started taking the game less seriously. After all, if you blunder and are down a piece, why play out the game? Just start a new one. I seemed to think ahead fewer moves, and to look only at the obvious positions. It was almost like playing speed chess: you take a short amount of time to consider the obvious moves and lines of play, and go with your instinct. That strategy works against weaker opponents, but not stronger ones.
Once I was on twitter for a while, I realized it would be the perfect medium for correspondence chess. I searched a bit, and sure enough, I found ChessTweets. Playing against live people again really highlighted how rusty I'd become.
Now I'm reteaching myself how to look ahead at various lines of play, and consider all the viable moves. So far I have no wins, one draw and four losses, but I think I'm getting better.
If you want to play me there, please challenge me to a game. All you need is a twitter account, and it's free. My twitter name is @pn8r. See you on the boards! :)