Thursday, August 07, 2014

Five days without Internet

Last weekend, I spent some time trying to finish up a project I’d been working on during the week. I had another on my plate waiting for me to get around to it, but with my very limited time on the computer during this summer, and a hundred other things requiring my attention, completing this one was slow going. I figured I would finish it over the weekend, when my husband would be at home to watch the kids, and then I could upload it and, on Monday get to work on the next one.

That was the plan, anyway!

The good news, I did finish this project (formatting a manuscript for Createspace). The bad news? There was NO Internet! I got online to try to upload it but there was no connection.

Turned out we had no cable, either. Jesse was so upset because our cable was shut off while he was watching SpongeBob and he cried when he missed out on the rest of the show.

What happened was that my husband thought he had paid the cable bill (we have a cable/Internet/phone bundle), but it had been our electric bill he had actually paid. And the funds to pay our Very Expensive cable bill were NOT available. So the cable company shut off our Internet, phone and cable. Without any warning, either! They didn’t even send a reminder. Sheesh!

To be honest, given a choice between having electricity and having cable, I was glad we had electricity! Still, I had things to do that required an Internet connection. For one thing, I have been in the process of editing/revising/updating a manuscript I had to get back to my publisher. For another thing, I had to upload this other book! I have another one waiting (actually, two more) and that one was time-sensitive. So I was pretty darn nervous each day I could not do those things.

Of course, I worried that my email inbox would overflow. This is where my smartphone came in handy. I contacted my publisher through my smartphone to let her know what was up, and I also got some other work done for other books. I managed my email account in the best way I could, but could not get done everything I needed to do to keep it from filling up. But, that’s okay! No biggie! I realize I could’ve gone to the library to use Internet there to handle email, but I’m too paranoid to use library computers for email.

I was also unable to post anything at my picture blog, for some reason, so I could not share the picture of the moon that I took on the night it was orange on account of the fires in California. Again, no biggie. Sometimes I can post on the blogs and sometimes not!

Jennifer, however, had a harder time dealing with no Internet. Surprisingly, she winged not having cable. (The kid has had to live without cable before!) But no Internet was another thing. She and a friend have been emailing each other new passages they write in a fan fiction story they’ve got going on, so no Internet meant no more writing the story! She also creates short story booklets on another site, and when she was inspired to write a new story, she was upset she could not upload it. (I told her to just write her story then she could upload it when we had Internet again.) She also missed out on using tumblr and Pinterest.

Jesse was also not happy he could not use Internet. He likes to play games. Still, the games on my smartphone were enough to satisfy his gaming fix.

I also managed to use Netflix on my smartphone, as well as Pinterest.

So, basically, we DID survive not having Internet, but it was hard. (For those five days, I was practically biting my nails off thinking Mustsendbook.Mustsendbook.Mustsendbook.)

Our Internet was finally turned back on today. (They turned on our cable first. Jesse was happy he got to watch Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles again.) I finally got to send my book back to my publisher. (Yay!) Getting THAT done lifted a HUGE weight off of my shoulders, believe me! And Jennifer was happy she got to do her Internet stuff again today. I am happy I got to do Internet stuff again, too. My email inbox still needs some attention, but I hope I can weed through it over the weekend. (That’s when I get caught up on email!)

This has definitely made us take a closer look at just how we spend our time on the Internet, what we can do when we don’t have it, and, ultimately, WHY it is important to us. What can we do on the Internet that we can’t do on a smartphone or in some other way? Indeed, the Internet does play an important role in our lives, but it’s not the end of the world if we have to do without it for a short time. There are just some things we need a computer with working Internet for that a smartphone will not be able to do for us. (I will say that it is insanely annoying typing on small keys and squinting to read the tiny screen on my smartphone, so blogging on my smartphone is definitely OUT!) Given there are flash drives, there are other solutions if we lose Internet. But it’s still a nice thing to have.


Millie said...

OMG! I can't imagine being w/out internet for that long! lol! It's funny how life sure has changed because of the internet.

Dawn Wilson said...

I agree. We have gotten so used to having Internet that it's pretty hard to go without it for so long. The kids have had Internet their whole lives. Some people really need to have that access because they use the Internet for their work. I always wonder about that. What if Internet gets shut off? What if there is a time of no more Internet? What if we stop using computers? Kinda scary how that could really hurt someone who relies on the Internet to make a living. I'm glad I don't and I don't think I ever will just because of how it could be gone some day -- just like that.