Thursday, October 04, 2012 • 10:28 AM Comments ()

The Internet Doesn't Exist

posted by Amy Pybus

How many people can say they started their day trying to speak clearly to an automated help desk while brushing their teeth and combing their son's unruly hair all at the same time?

I'm sorry, but anyone who can put "Mother" on their resume should be hired for any job she ever applies for.

But that's beside the point. We realized we had no internet this morning and I spent half a very precious hour on the phone with said help desk. I was only trying to find out if there was a cable outage in my area, but instead got sucked into a "discussion" with that horrifyingly awful automated computer woman.

At one point "she" said, "I won't be able to hear you while I do this." Wow, you can hear?? What if I told you...well, forget it.

This whole drama happened because my son was trying to look up something on the internet. And by the time I was five minutes into the phone call, both boys were already on to the next thing - one watching a movie and the other playing a video game.

I know what you're thinking, Oh no, more screens! Bad mother! Screens are perfectly acceptable in the every-man-for-himself-while-mommy's-busy-getting-us-all-ready-to-go time. Well how did you eat breakfast as a kid? A bowl of Froot Loops in front of the tv? And look, you survived.

The sad fact of my life is that I can't afford to have my internet down, especially right now, in the midst of getting my day care re-licensed. I need it for taking online nutrition classes and filling out forms and printing out forms and emailing parents to tell them about all the forms they need to fill out.

So on top of that hassle, all the stress and annoyance of this morning (and the three ensuing service calls) got me to daydreaming: What would our lives be like if there was no internet?

Beyond the world missing out on my insightful and witty blogs, of course. Call me old-fashioned, but it sounded like a really nice idea. We could keep our work at the office once again, spared from answering emails and bringing projects home as a matter of course. No facebook as a constant distraction. We wouldn't have to run to the computer every time we needed to find an address - we could use a real map. And we could make our phone calls and then PUT THE PHONE DOWN instead of having it in our face all day and night.

Sounds nice, doesn't it? It made me think back to the storm just a year ago. We had no power for five days and my family loved it. We re-connected in a way that's not possible unless you literally shut everything down and lock it up. We handled the chores together, snuggled on the couch or in bed for warmth, read, played games, and foraged for food. In fact just a few days ago my oldest wished we could have another power outage just so we could have another adventure like it.

Alas, the internet came back up a few hours later, with teams of service people across the state working on it (literally - I spoke to three different very concerned people over the last four hours). If only we could put our energy into something more long-lasting, less ethereal - our lives might be much better, and in a more substantial way.

But later for that. I'm off to watch some Louis CK clips on youtube.

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