I don’t know about you, but last week I had a serious disruption in my life. A major internet/cable provider had a serious outage that affected many states and, I’m guessing, hundreds of thousands of people, including me. It even affected my bank’s web site!
For 2 whole (long, frustrating, annoying) days I could not use my computer or watch tv. Do you have any idea what it means to a tech person to not have internet access? It sort of felt like having my right arm chopped off! I no longer use things like physical maps or phonebooks, newspapers or reference books–I look up everything on the internet. Recipes, medical references, crafting info, grandparenting info and just about everything else, all come from sites on the internet. I socialize and, obviously, even work online!
So not having access to that sort of sent me over the edge. And the way I wind down? Well, I watch tv. Except I couldn’t. No cable – no tv. And the design of the DVR/cable system wouldn’t even allow me to watch what I had already stored on the DVR! How frustrating and annoying. (And poor design, I might add!) And on top of that, for 2 whole evenings, everything that I normally record on the DVR wasn’t recording. AAARRRRRGGGGGG!
Thankfully, I still had my cell phone. I wasn’t totally cut off from the outside world, but while there are many things I can do on my cell (get some email, play Angry Birds, look up stuff, etc.) there are many things I can’t…like work.
The whole thing was a very eye-opening experience for me. How different would my life be if I never had access to these things again? Would I go back to reading physical books? Would I do more work around the house? It’s unclear. Since I was born (which, by the way, was a few years ago yesterday!) there has been such an advance in technology that I can’t imagine how people from even 100 years ago would cope with today’s world.
I watch a show called “Revolution” which is about a family (that) struggles to reunite in an American landscape where every single piece of technology – computers, planes, cars, phones, even lights – has mysteriously blacked out forever. The show depicts how quickly society breaks down when people who are used to these things don’t have them anymore. It’s kind of scary. It makes me wonder if the next outage will cause me learn some prairie skills like cooking over an open fire or digging a well for water?
Well, just to be prepared, perhaps I’ll spend some time learning about them on the internet now!!!
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