Monday, November 12, 2007

Response to Weekend Wandering

David McMahon of authorblog asks the following question: How would you cope if you had no way to use the Internet for a week?

You mean after I went frantic? The web is my chosen tool for communication, banking, bill paying, appointment setting, entertainment, and encyclopedia. Sometimes it is even my muse in that it gives me ideas on what to write about. When my computer goes down I rush to get it fixed. This isn't as easy as it once was. My favorite computer guru is often too busy to deal with my problems anymore. Thank goodness I have a nice stable machine.

If I couldn't do the things I do on the web I'd have to revert to the old fashioned methods. I'd pick up my phone and call people, maybe drive over to see them face to face. I'd pay bills by check and postage. I might have to go to the store to buy things I needed. Life wouldn't be as quickly accomplished as it is now. Things might slow down. I'd have to plan ahead more. Paying by web is instant, by snail mail isn't and you have to trust the generosity of companies to honor the postage dates. Thankfully most companies still honor those. To get entertained I'd have to read, something I do anyway, or watch TV. It used to be considered graceful and gracious to communicate by hand written letters and cards. In many cases it still is. I'd miss the frequency of emails from friends so I think my phone bill might rise or my calling hours would change (cell anytime minutes).

Would I like being webless? No! Could I manage? Yes, I was born when there wasn't any web. Would I be happy? That's hard to say. I worked for many years in the Information Processing industry. Some of my friends use me as a resource to tell them how to do things on their computers that I learned many years ago. Its a source of interaction but not our only one. My friend might be just as frustrated as I would be. Conversation would probably focus on the sudden lack of web.

Mind you the question was only for a week. If the webless state extended beyond that the communications industry might have to step into the hole and create the ways of using technology that we now take for granted. Imagine AT&T providing camera phones when we are used to doing that for ourselves on our computers. Video calls would be very expensive. The world might have to get innovative with other forms of technology...satellites might get more usage than they do now. Would TVs get cameras? In all of the technology questions this is raising in my mind one thing that has nothing to do with technology stands out. Would people be more polite to each other if instant gratification through the web was no longer available?

Peace! Hope! & Joy!


San said...


I have been on "information fasts" during which I didn't use a computer or watch TV or listen to radio or read papers or magazines or books for a period of days. It is initially unsettling, but then a deeper peace pervades.

I do of course love the internet and the riches it puts at our fingertips, especially web friends, such as you!

The politeness question is a good one. I'm not sure of the answer.

Isadora said...

Hate to break this to you - being in a similar situation a few years ahead of you - one MUST have web. Other things you can do without, many in fact - but the web is now indispensable. Good luck.

Lee said...


I never had information fasts once I got on the web. The services were just always there. I did however go on TV and Radio fasts when I was a teenager and we went backpacking in Colorado. It was a very enlightening time during which I learned to do without those things. About politeness? I would hope so.


Thank you for stopping by. Web definitely makes things easier and many companies would be crippled without it. Yes, many of our services today depend on it. However, as I said before. We used to not have the web. That was only 30 years ago and it took people a long time to get to where they were comfortable using computers. I know people who still aren't. The old methods haven't been forgotten, just put away as too time consuming and inefficient. I never said the world would be as good as it is today, but it would have its blessings and graces.


david mcmahon said...

Nice work, Lee. The Net is such a part of our lives.

Got your question about backlinks .... would you care to leave me your email address as a comment on my blog?



Lee said...

Thanks David! Yes, it is a huge part of our lives. I know you're seeking opinions but, would you be able or willing to live without it?


indicaspecies said...

A lovely post. Congratulations on being chosen in the Post of the Day. Well deserved. :)

Lee said...


Thank you for dropping by. I'm glad you liked the post. Thank you also for the heads up on being listed among the Posts of the Day at David's site. That is always such a thrill.


Cynthia said...

I don't know if I could do it...I am way to dependant on the web. Thanks for your kind words on my blog!

Lee said...

Hi Nap Warden,

Welcome to my corner of the world. No thanks necessary, the compliment was well deserved. I bet you could, in adversity we often find our strengths. If you are ever curious you could always do a test run like San did with an info fast. :)


Misty DawnS said...

Forgive me for being late in posting. This past Sunday morning, I woke up and realized that I didn't have phone OR internet service. I'm not going to lie and say I handled it well, because, truth is - I freaked. I realized it was Sunday and no one would be in the office and then I realized Monday was a holiday-TWO whole days without the internet? No way! Luckily, it came back on after about eight hours, but until then, I'm a bit embarrassed to say that I was in an absolute panic.

Lee said...

Hi Misty Dawn,

Thanks for stopping by.

Don't be too embarrassed. I'd be frantic too. It isn't that we can't live without the web. It's just that we don't want to. Your situation wasn't of your own making or choosing. Very frustrating and understandable.

I'm wondering, if we all knew more about how the web worked and knew what questions to ask when things went wrong, would we be less freaked out by its occasional absence?