11.10.10

When I lost my Internet connection.

I was chatting with a friend on IM when I lost my Internet connection.

“Not again!” I said to myself. I was irritated. My ISP should be more reliable. I shut down my computer and turned off the modem. I waited impatiently for a few minutes, and then I turned everything back on. This usually fixes the problem. But this time it didn't. There was still no Internet connection.

I rang my ISP on the phone. “I want to report a fault,” I finally said to a tech who called himself Patrick.

“We need to check some things on the 'back-end'. If your connection is not restored in five hours, you will be contacted by a second level of support,” said Patrick.

“OK,” I said. I KNEW it was a problem on their end. They were doing upgrades, and there had been a big storm. But I still was annoyed.

But five hours wasn’t that bad. Surely I could live for five hours without the Internet. I mean, let's talk about first world problems.

Besides, I really should be unplugged from the Internet while writing my novel. I opened a new Word document, and I wrote for an hour. Then I read a book to Five, and I gave him a bath. We played a game. I made dinner.

Anxiously, I checked the time. It had been five hours. I was hopeful as I tried to connect to the Internet. But I still couldn’t go online.

I was frustrated. I rang my ISP again. A tech named Chaneera and I tried power cycles and pings. Nothing worked. After a while, Chaneera gave up. He insisted that there were no faults on their end. I had an individual problem. And it would be six days before they could send a service tech to my house to fix it.

“SIX DAYS?” I said incredulously. “It’s definitely a problem on my end? Do I need to get a new modem?”

“Well, maybe,” said Chaneera doubtfully.

SIX DAYS without the Internet?

I had work. I had bills to pay. I needed to do "important research" for my new book. I needed to publish a post on my blog. We talk to Five’s grandparents every day on Skype. And it was the school holidays. I would go mad without a home Internet connection.

I was upset. Maybe there was an area problem that had not been reported. My ISP never wants to admit when there is an outage. Even though it was late (9pm), I rang friends in the village who have the same ISP.

“Is your Internet working?” I asked.

“Yes,” said my friends.

I was let down. It was an individual problem. I sulked on the couch while Adam watched Top Gear on TV. Boring! I decided to read a book in the bedroom.

The next morning Five and I talked to his grandparents on the phone. I watched the morning news on TV. We went to the shops, and I bought a newspaper. We went to the library. We went to the bank.

I felt a sense of relief. There was no pressure to keep up with the constant hum of the Internet. I didn’t need to read blogs or check Facebook and Twitter. I could drink my coffee and daydream. I could give my full attention to Five. I planned to weed the garden and finish my novel.

My life seemed less urgent. I felt calm and purposeful. I was motivated. After our errands, Five and I went home. We ate lunch. Then I sat at my desk, and I flipped through the notes for my novel. I opened a new Word document on my computer, and I began to type.

Then I noticed that the computer was connected to the Internet. Somehow, magically, I could go online.

If this story had a moral, I would tell you that I was disappointed. But I wasn’t. New opportunities for procrastination lured me to the meadows of the Internet. And I hurried to heed their siren call.

13 comments:

Lisa said...

I followed the drama via Tweet. I keep telling myself to take a break, to stop for a while, to - if nothing else - set a schedule: no internet until after 5pm. Treat writing like a real job and stay offline until I've put in a full day.

I am weak.

And I missed your posts.

From AA to NZ said...

Thank God there are no problems on my back end. Well, OK, it IS a little lower than it was 20 years ago....

Happy Frog and I said...

I hate stuff like that! Still, at least you used your time wisely and you didn't have to wait 6 days for a call out. 6 days?! I can manage 6 days without the Internet if I chose it, but not if it is foisted upon me by someone who I am paying to provide a service. Unbelievable!

Jayne Martin said...

LOL! Yes, I've been there. It's really creepy how completely dependent we are on this giant time suck.

TechnoBabe said...

Talking yourself down from the scare of being without the internet for so many days was great. We all do so many things online, as you say, pay bills and get news and email. So glad it wasn't a really long time without the internet.

Voix said...

Sometimes you could trick yourself into pretending that your internet is broken and do other stuff again. Maybe. You know, like, as an option.

Madame DeFarge said...

Welcome back. Sounds like a true 21st century nightmare.

CrunchyVTMommy said...

Glad your internet is back. Dont disappear on me :)

Nick Thomas said...

Most dreaded words ever in the Internet age: "The problem appears to be at your end"

Jack said...

Sometimes I think that it would be good for me to lose my Internet connection and then I remember that is hard to make money without it. Hate being trapped like this.

bernthis said...

I was in Ojai this weekend for a retreat. No cell phone for 3days. Barely a computer and I loved it.

Ozma said...

Yeah, if my work did not require constant internet access I would get rid of the internet.

Well, my hatred of the internet...I go on and on about it.

It does make it harder to have peace of mind. But how do we live without it...now?

The Empress said...

It is a love/hate relationship. Secretly, I am happy when our computer crashes so I CAN'T go on.

Otherwise, it is my siren's call.