Wednesday, July 20, 2011

No internet?!?! What ever will I do?????

Am I the only one who has noticed that losing WiFi access or internet access has apparently become cause for local governments to declare a State of Emergency?  Not to mention the whole "I called you seventeen times and emailed you eight times in the last 10 minutes.  Where have you been?!?!" phenomenon.  Errm.... I had to pee and didn't think it was necessary to bring my computer with me?  My bad.

The other day I decided to spend the entire day with my children.  We ran errands, we played games, we took Sarah to softball practice, we went shopping, and we didn't go anywhere near a computer or the internet.  My cell phone doesn't support WiFi and doesn't surf the internet.  I have a computer for that.  So when someone sent me an email about ten minutes after the family left the house and didn't get an immediate response, it was assumed that I was ignoring this person and therefore deceitful and untrustworthy and it was their duty to make sure the internet world knew what a horrible person I am.


Fifteen years ago if someone was driving home and realized that they absolutely HAD to talk to their best friend RIGHT NOW they kept driving and picked up the home telephone once they'd arrived at their home.  Now, if you suggest someone not use their phone in a moving vehicle you get glared at like you're some kind of primitive while people wail "What if there's an emergency???"   Umm... you drive home and pick up the phone once you've arrived at your destination.  Just like people did for nearly a century without there being mass deaths or worldwide catastrophes.

Fifteen years ago if someone called someone else and they didn't answer, they left a message and waited for them to call back sometime that evening after their daily responsibilities had been attended to.  Now, if someone calls someone else and they don't answer, they leave a voice mail, send a text, send an email, text common acquaintances, and start tracking the GPS signal of the other person's phone, and put out a missing person bulletin via Facebook all within ten minutes of the original call.

Fifteen years ago if you wanted to bond with friends or schoolmates you went out and played sports or met up in person for board games or had coffee face to face while taking turns talking politely to each other.  Now, if you ask someone how many friends they have and what they do together you'll have to wait while they log in to Facebook and check.  Odd, I remember knowing what my friends looked like and what their REAL names were.

Fifteen years ago if the power went out during the day people went outside and struck up a football game or a BBQ grill and cheered being unable to do technology related work for awhile.  Now, if the power goes out people grab their cell phones and join hour long "on hold" lines waiting their turn to cuss out the electric company because they don't have anything else to do.

Fifteen years ago if the internet went down no one except CEOs and government leaders noticed and they simply said "Oh darn.  Who wants to play golf?"  Now if the internet goes down there is at least one family member who will sit at the computer for hours refreshing their browser window over and over and over and over until the computer either loads up the internet or the little gremlin living inside crawls out and beats them to death with their own keyboard.

How did I get on this longwinded high horse?  Well, we were out and about and stopped at one of those "I'm entirely too tired to be bothered with thinking up dinner ideas and here you can all grab whatever you want and I don't have to wash dishes afterward" places.  The instant everyone got back to the table, every head swivelled to stare at one of several big screen televisions hanging from the walls.  Not a single word of conversation was spoken.


So, I casually suggested to Steve that we should accidentally cut the power lines to the televisions and computers.  ALL of our kids, even the three year old, looked like they'd just been sentenced to an immediate and painful execution.

"But we won't have anything to doooooooooooooooooooooo!!!!"

You could play board games with each other.  You could read.  You could draw or color or play with the millions of toys you've accumulated over your lifetimes.  I know!  You could clean your rooms. 


Yep.  If we were to suddenly lose all access to televisions or the internet, my children would be found centuries later mummifed in their seats... 

One with a mouse attached to her hand, the other two with remotes in theirs while they clicked over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and..........