Have you thought about what your life would be like without the Internet? We found out this week, and I sure was in for a few surprises. I do have Internet at work but I can't get onto any non-work email or blogging sites, or many sites I normally visit. Some I can, but do I really want work to see that I'm getting onto a survivalist site? No. Same with my banking. Do I want work to see what's in my account since they can be a ghost on your computer at any time. Never! And at home we had nothing.
My last job provided me with Internet access at home. I had a wireless card that they paid for each month. All was great. When I left that job they never shut the Internet card down. For 10 months it continued to run. At first I assumed it was because I was still helping out by running a class for them but a couple months ago I was told that they would be running the class themselves and I didn't need to help at all. OK. But the Internet kept coming. Until last week.
I got on the computer and so Internet. I reset the card. Nothing. I reset the computer. Nothing. I tried the card on a different computer. Nothing. It's shut off. I didn't have time to go purchase something else. Someone said I could tether my phone to my computer. I've seen it done before. Unfortunately, I didn't have a smart enough smart phone. I couldn't do it. Today I had to upgrade my phone. Now, I just plug the phone into the computer and away I go.
But for almost a week there was no Internet. It got me wondering about how I'm using it and what would happen with a real Internet disruption. So what if there's no Facebook. I would miss email since it's the main way I communicate with most of my relatives. But texting would work, if the phones were still working. But what about my banking? What about using the Internet to research or entertain? What about me chronicling what I'm doing by writing this blog? It's much easier to do on the large computer screen and the real computer keyboard.
Paying the bills? Most of my bills pay automatically so I don't really have to worry about them. As long as I get paid there's enough to pay the bills. It's almost autopilot, although I do pay close attention anyway. I don't have very many bills being sent to me anymore. Just a few years ago I was getting bills sent and also getting them on-line. I changed my mind on most of the bills and now very few are sent in a hard copy - but I make copies every couple of months so I do have hard copies around. How would I know what I owed if I didn't have access to a computer? It was disconcerting not being able to track it easily, even if it was just a week. I could get on to the banking site on my old phone but it was hard to do much once I got there. This new phone is easier and running the computer is even easier. But what if it went away?
I couldn't check out the weather forecast on any of the Internet sites using the computer. I turned on my weather radio instead. I couldn't look up some information that Boy was questioning me on. He was also writing a report on New York City. We couldn't look up to do the research. I pulled out one of my book boxes of "Know Your America" that I collected 45 years ago...it couldn't really have been that long ago, was it? Most of his questions could be answered by these booklets from the 60s the rest of his research had to be completed at school.
I sure got a lot of things done around the property this weekend. A couple of times I went in to the library here at home and looked at the computer. Definite withdrawals! Oh why won't you work? Instead, since it was a beautiful day outside, I hit the chore list and got a huge amount accomplished.
Saturday night I went to the football game. The grand kids got left home since the game didn't even start until 7:30. At least the game ended at 11:00. Fresno State 8-0! The last 7:30 game ended at midnight! I was home at midnight and changed all the clocks back an hour. Good, an extra hour to sleep. Glad I changed the clock because Boy came in at 6:30. When are you getting up? I told him to go make some breakfast and that I would get up at 8 to make a cooked breakfast. He only came in one other time. Drives me crazy, but a good crazy.
I finally dragged myself out of bed and made a great homemade breakfast. Home grown potatoes, eggs, and some chicken sausage. Homemade (but store bought wheat) bread and home grown and made jam. Even the orange juice came from the garden. Army daughter and Son-in-law were supposed to come over today to help with chores and to "pay down" what they owe me. They never showed up. Not surprised. Boy, Girl, and I washed the car. Boy even when out to give the chickens food and water without my asking. Girl even unloaded the dishwasher without making it seem like I was asking for the moon. Who are these children????? Was it because I was more available because I wasn't sitting on the computer for an hour? I don't know. Maybe not having the computer available isn't such a bad thing after all - except I would miss reading what everyone else is doing.