Without a Net

It was in the dead of last Monday night when an overly dramatic storm let loose the loudest thunderclap I had ever heard. I barely had time to leap up in bed when the lightning bolt crashed somewhere just outside our house, and I then knew what ozone smelled like. While power was eventually restored by eight in the morning, the Internet equipment connecting our entire block has been sitting in a pitiable state, fried and waiting for its replacement to be shipped. The practical upshot of all this, of course, is that I have been (and still remain) without Net access at home for over a week.

To say I've been restless and confused would be an understatement. I've been online, first through BBSes, QualtumLink and DataPac, for nigh on 25 years. Between work and home, I spend probably in access of 80 hours a week online. It's my way of communicating with the world outside of the Northwest Territories, it's how I bank, it's how I check the news and weather, and it's how I figure things out. Without it, I've had to re-establish ties with the world as it used to be (at least for me).

This weekend was therefore rather odd for me. When I wasn't taking care of the kids, I was running home decor errands for my wife, organising my fishing tackle or camera gear, and writing on good ole-fashioned paper. I kept wanting to check the weather, or my bank account, or see how our websites were holding up, but I could do none of that. I just had to take for granted that --yes-- the world was still okay, even though I couldn't fire up a web browser.

I honestly can't remember the last time I wasn't online. Was it as fraught with uncertainty as my last week? Did it always feel so isolated? How did I figure things out before, without Google to point my way? Did I trust my own instincts, walking a tightrope without a net? All these questions burrowed their way into my brain, till I came to rue what my life on the Net had actually done to me. Was the Internet a vast library and social system that supported the expansion of my mind, or had it become a crutch that I couldn't live without?

One of these days, we'll all be used to living with chips inside our heads, and then will come a time when some solar activity will fry those chips, and we'll sit around like a colony of rag-dolls, wondering what to do.

That might sound a little cynical, but I have to wonder how much time I actually need to spend interfacing with a computer. So my plan: I'm going to get in the habit of shutting my router down at least one day a week. Time to walk and balance without a net again....

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I can sympathize. I was out for a week after my last house move.

insomnia cure


After leaving a very popular MMO and returning to the land of the living ... I realized just how much time I spent in front of my computer at home. It scared me into picking up a book... now I feel I have found a good balance. No tele - minimum internet useage - increased reading and other activities.

A storm might do good for some people - give them that check they need to find a balance in life :)

(we do miss you though Doug <3)

my artwork | my blog

I think a day has been

I think a day has been designated called Internet Free Day, or something.

Internet Free Day

Internet Free Day: January 29th.

Pyramidiology: What you get when you mix pyramids and idiots.

Steve Sharam

I'm agoraphobic and suffer

I'm agoraphobic and suffer from fairly severe social phobia. In other words, I have no friends. The internet has proven to be an excellent substitute. Without it, I'd be curled in the corner.

I do think it's a matter of using it instead of letting it use you, so your plan is a good one. You might want to try a week's vacation away each year. That's a healthy thing to do as well (not that I'll try that--I have an online job).

Back online

It's still a little intermittent, but at least I can (occasionally) pop on websites and collect my mail. Now, to deal with a few hundred email.

If you've sent me a message in the last 12 days, please be patient, folks -- it's a heckuva backlog.

all my best,