Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Internet Dependency

When I got home from work last Friday afternoon I turned on the computer and plugged in my modem - standard procedure whenever I get home. However, something not so standard occurred - my computer didn't connect to the internet. My first reaction was mild panic, but I figured it must be a minor glitch and so I fiddled with a few settings, turned things off and back on, and waited a while. When it was clear something was wrong, I decided to contact my internet provider; here arrived stumbling block number one: everything I do, I do online. Normal procedure would be to check a website for tips, then to email or talk to someone online, and only as a last resort actually pick up the phone. But only that last resort was available, so I was forced to dig out an old bill (from before they went paperless) to find a phone number and call.

The representative (once I finally got through to him) informed me that my modem looked fine from his end, but it was really old- so old they stopped making the model in 2005 (which is eons ago for electronics). The solution was to go trade in my modem the next day. This, however, did nothing to solve the problem, and another call left me with the information that they didn't know what was wrong and couldn't help me since I use Linux. Many hours of troubleshooting and a lot of phone calls later, it's Tuesday and I'm dying without an internet connection. I'm worried that my computer is truly broken and decide to wipe the operating system and reinstall. Thankfully this solves my problem, and in the mean time I've learned a lot.

-Just because electronics are really old, that doesn't mean they're useless
My old modem turned on faster than the new one
My computer is 6 years old and still going strong

-Most people aren't willing to put in the effort to fix things
The first reaction was to go replace the old thing- it must be broken
I was kind of tempted to use this as an excuse to buy a shiny new computer
Reinstalling was actually really easy, and it only took 1 evening to get back up and running just like I was previously

-I'm totally and completely dependent on technology
I had to call friends many times this weekend to look up phone numbers
I didn't know what to wear on Saturday without
I rushed needlessly to the train since I had no idea how long it would take to get somewhere without
My computer is the essence of my entertainment- music, games, blogs...
I had limited to no contact with most people I know while I was offline

While I appreciated the reminder that I should be less dependent on technology, mostly I am just very thankful to have my internet back and that I didn't have to buy anything new (hopefully they'll recycle the modem I traded in).

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