A week with no connection
Tuesday, Jan 28, 2014 12:00 pm
It had been a full eight days since we heard the familiar noises of the iPad and iPhone notifications in our house, and last Thursday, when those sounds came back suddenly one evening, the silliest little smile spread across my three-year-old’s face.
Following the windstorm that hit much of the province on Jan. 15, the internet at our house was knocked out completely. We were among the thousands of people without an internet signal, and were left waiting eagerly for the many damaged internet towers to be fixed.
On the day of the storm, we were pretty much completely cut off from communicating with the outside world. Our cell phones were spotty at best and our internet, along without our house phone that uses the internet to work, were knocked out.
It became clear a day or two later that our quiet little house would stay quiet for a while longer, as I drove last the internet tower that feeds us our signal and it was physically broken in half from the wind.
Although we did pretty good without any outside communication, going eight days without the internet certainly made us realize now much we depend on it. I use the internet for work a lot, whether it is to double check facts like the spelling of names online, or emailing myself stories I've written from home. I’ll admit, I felt a bit lost without my connection.
And although it was hard to explain to a six-year-old and a three-year-old why they couldn't play certain games on their iPads or watch YouTube videos, it was also a bit painful to hear my husband talk about how he felt like he was going through withdrawals since he wasn't able to play his favourite online video games.
After I tracked down a spare flash drive to bring my files to work, I found that working at the computer was actually much more efficient without the continual distraction of Facebook. I actually think I sat at the computer for fewer hours during those eight days, but somehow managed to get more accomplished.
Being that it's been such a cold winter, I am grateful for the internet. There are only so many cookies that can be baked (although I struggled when I couldn't search out my favourite recipes online) and only so much Lego that can be played on those cold days.
I really enjoy sitting down and playing a game of Mario with my six-year-old, and having three boys in the house that enjoy video games isn’t a bad thing. It also amazes me to see how quickly kids catch on to technology and what kids can learn when it's used in the right way.
And although I do feel that life has almost become too convenient at times, it really is nice to be able to write this column from the comfort of bed, and simply email it to myself so it's ready for the newspaper in the morning.