No Internet, Back To Basics

Sep 14, 2009 by

So we lose internet service a couple of days ago. No big deal as we live out in the country and these things happen.

But a couple of days ago was 9-11.

The Little Black Dress comes back from “town” and says everything is down. There’s no internet anywhere. No internet, these days, means no credit/debit transactions. Gas stations, grocery stores, everything was cash only.

We were in the Dark Ages.

And people started whispering. Were we under attack again?

Fortunately, my trusting Blackberry was working.  Quick check of various news feeds showed nothing too amiss, other than CNN reporting the Coast Guard was firing shots somewhere near D.C. But it was CNN so I wasn’t going to get too excited.

With phone lines down as well, I use my Blackberry to call our internet/DSL provider, who shall remain nameless.

I hate talking to robots. I especially hate it when they don’t understand what I’m saying. And I really hate it when I end up shouting at this automated voice that keeps saying, “Sorry, I didn’t get that, did you say you wanted fries with that?”

If you start talking gibberish long enough, the robot soon overloads, gives up and passes you to a real human. In India.

So after explaining I’ve already done all the reboots and plug in and plug out there is to do, I just ask to get it fixed.

My work involves a lot of internet work. In fact, my business is internet-based. No internet, no work.

So I’m informed the tech support will call within 30 minutes. And they do. Surprise. But it’s a friggin robot again, telling me everything is fine. Um, no, it’s not because they had to call my Blackberry number.

The robot is nice enough to give me a toll-free number to talk to a small surving band of humans in some buried tech center. I call, they can’t help. Their “network” is down.

It’s getting interesting. So I decide to drive into our little town and check out what’s happening at the local gas station/gossip center. Turns out some construction worker cut the fiber optic cable.

No terrorist attack.  A little stupidity on someone’s part, but life goes on.

Sort of.

With all my high-tech gadgets, it takes a face-to-face to find out what’s going on. With all the power of the internet, e-mail, Blackberrys, Twitter, Facebook, instant message or any other electronic device, I really couldn’t find out anything.

I had to do a little “just flip the dog.” Throw it all out and actually go talk to someone. In person.

And you know what? I survived. And met a couple of nice people.

We are relying too much on electronic “stuff” to communicate. And we’re missing out. Twitter, IM, e-mail, whatever, has its place. But it will never replace just sitting down and talking with someone.

We are losing our ability to communicate. That is not a good thing.

So take the time, walk down the street, down the hall, and actually talk.