Disconnected (Part 2 of 3)
Turns out I wasn’t the only person who remembered about their PayPal accounts. Consequently, they’ve been inundated with calls and letters asking for funds to be sent back to people. I’m glad I’m getting my money back, but I do feel sorry for the poor folks at PayPal. It’s not their fault. People can get very funny about their money, though. Maybe PayPal’s next in the firing line for huge job losses. Not a pretty thought, but it seems to be the way the wind is blowing with these cyber-businesses. It’s interesting, though: companies that built themselves up through the Internet don’t seem to have had much in the way of contingency plans for if something like this ever happened. That’s just it, though, isn’t it? Did any of us really think that something like this would happen? Had we grown so dependent on the Internet that the very idea of it no longer being there was impossible for us to comprehend?
Well, the joke’s sure on us, isn’t it?
Well, if two months without the Internet has proven one thing it’s that we certainly don’t need the World Wide Web to encourage the nut-balls to come gibbering out of the woodwork. I’ve probably mentioned before in this series of jumbled ramblings that there are definitely those who seem pleased with the disappearance of the Internet, but if you were to ask a member of the Olde Worlde League (OWL for short, I’m told) – and I wish you good luck if you do – then what you’d get is an earful of spittle and zealous fire about how the Internet being gone is a blessing unto all, yadda yadda yadda. Don’t get me wrong, things like getting that letter from my Mum and seeing all those kids reading books – actual books – at the local library the other day makes me see that losing the Internet isn’t all bad, but these whack-jobs are taking things to immensely stupid proportions, as some always will, right? Now, I said before that the only thing that’s changed is that we have no Internet. We’re still living in the 21st Century with computers, telephones, and all that jazz, but the OWLs seem to have taken this as a sign that we should shed all modern trappings and live like it’s the sodding Dark Ages! I saw a bunch of them in town yesterday, all dressed up like they were on their way to a Medieval Fayre or something. I mean, I’m all for Fair Trade and organic produce and all that, but not if I have to grow and harvest it my bloody self! This may sound very First World – and I don’t really care if it does – but in my opinion, Western culture has not progressed as far as it has for me to have to milk a bloody cow if I want my Frosties of a morning!
Truly, the Internet didn’t create crazy people; it just gave them more of a voice. Now that it’s gone, it looks as if they’re going to start shouting louder.
So help us!
How did we ever manage without on-demand TV??? Now I have to wait for my shows to be on to watch them? I know this makes me sound like a petulant spoiled brat but I miss binge-watching an entire season of The Walking Dead over a weekend. Now, those pesky cliff-hangers have me waiting a week to find out what (stuff and things) happens.
God knows how I’m going to cope with the mid-season break! Three months with no Daryl? A girl could go crazy!
Today I unplugged my router and put it away in the living room cupboard. It felt kind of symbolic, you know? Like I was saying a definite goodbye to the Internet. I think I’m starting to get used to not having it around, although I don’t know if I’ll ever fully get used to it. Who knows, though? Maybe someday down the line, if the Internet never comes back on, I’ll look back on this time in my life and wonder how I ever became so dependent on something so fleeting.
Weird thought. I think I need a drink.
One drink turned into too many. I’m going back to bed.
Here’s a bitter pill to swallow. Not long before the Internet went down I used a tasty little tax rebate to part fund the purchase of a new iPhone. A new model had come out a few months before and I fancied treating myself. Now, sitting here, staring at my very expensive new smart phone I have to resign myself to the fact that it is no longer smart and is just a phone. I can still make and receive calls and texts, which is all fine and good, but I sunk a lot of money into this thing because of all of the web-based things that it could do. Not anymore, though, eh? All over the world, and I’m assuming this Internet breakdown is worldwide, otherwise we’d have heard about it on the news, people are having to look at their phones as just phones again. I remember when you’d get on a train or bus, or go to a bar or restaurant, and people everywhere would be checking their phones for any number of reasons. Now, all you can check your phones for is the time, whether someone has called, or whether someone has sent you a text message.
And again I’m faced with a slight dilemma of how to feel about this. Yes, I’m bloody pissed off that I spent so much money on a phone that can now only do a tiny fraction of what I bought it for, but at the same time I can see the benefits of people not being glued to their phones like they used to be. Let me ask you something, oh assumed reader, how many times in your life have you been having a conversation with someone and had them stop talking to you because their phone went off? Surely a face to face interaction should take precedence over one that happens via a telephone, right? Apparently not. I’ve even done it myself, I’m sure I have. There I was, happily chatting away with someone when beep beep beep, and off I’d go, putting my real life conversation on hold to check what my phone demanded of me. I feel ashamed to think of how many times I probably did that in my life.
So again, ticked that my comfortable First World existence has been made that little less cushy (God, I sound like such a bitch, don’t I?), but at the same time cautiously optimistic that the next time I feel like I’m having a meaningful conversation with someone I won’t be interrupted by the siren song of the mobile phone.
Right little fence-sitter, aren’t I?
I don’t really have anything to say today, but my lewd sense of humour won’t let me pass day 69 without a childish snicker.
It’s late, and I’ve had a few to drink, but I wanted to get this down…
I went to a party tonight; a friend’s birthday. It was nice to reconnect with people. It would have been a hell of a lot nicer, however, if people could have talked about something else besides the damn Internet being gone. All night. Literally all night, that’s all anyone wanted to talk about. How’s it affecting you? What do you miss most about it? On and on! I know, I know. I’m being a major hypocrite right now; writing in a journal about the loss of the Internet complaining about people talking about the loss of the Internet. But seriously, is that all people talk about these days? I mean, TV still works; why aren’t people gasbagging about the soaps or the football? Not that I want them to do that either – can’t stand either – but at least it would have been some variety.
Ugh! Like I said, had a few to drink. I’m going to bed.
I’ve been away for a few days, in the country, you know? It’s funny, but where I live you can be pretty much in the countryside if you drive ten minutes in practically any direction, but this could well have been the first time I’ve deliberately “gone country” since I was a kid. I know I’m starting to sound like a broken record here, but without the Internet to distract me with blogging, chatting, surfing, etc. I found myself at a complete and total loose end. Then it hit me: why not go out? Venture forth, that kind of thing. So I did. I didn’t even call up any friends and make a road trip out of it. I just went. On my own. And you know what? I really enjoyed myself. Don’t worry, I’m not about to go all communing-with-nature, but being out there was just so…peaceful. I don’t live in a big city, but even a medium sized town can comfortably squeeze into the rat race, and it felt good to step off the track for a while.
Heh, knowing me, had the Internet still been with us, I’d have blogged about being in the countryside with nothing more than my childhood memories to back me up. What a fraud!
Mental note: next time you go romping through the sodding countryside, remember to slap on plenty of insect repellent. Greedy little buggers! I feel like I’ve been nibbled on by every gnat, midge, and such-and-such in England!
It rained today; nothing particularly special about that, right? I mention it because this has to be one of the first times in my adult life when, to check the weather, I actually looked outside. For so long I grew so used to simply checking the Weather App on my phone. I don’t know. It felt more real pulling the curtain aside and seeing actual rain hitting the window instead of computer generated rain falling behind the day’s weather readout. I mean, of course it’s more real; it was just one of those moments where the realness of something hits home. I’m not sure if I’m making myself clear, but I know what I mean. And that’s all that matters, right? Well, it’s supposed to. I guess as I’m writing this with the obviously egotistical assumption that someone somewhere will read what I’ve written (surely all writers feel this way) I suppose I should hope that I’m at least making sense.
I took a walk in the park today, and you know what I saw? A guy playing a song about the Internet, like it was a folk tale! I mean, I know it’s been a while since it went down, but come on! The way this guy was romanticising it you’d think the Internet was the stuff of legend. We all remember what the Internet was like, but a folk song? Already? Isn’t there some kind of unspoken length of time that has to pass before you can write a folk song about something? If there isn’t, there should be.
The most annoying thing, though, was that it was a catchy song. And I don’t even like folk music.
The other day, when I was in the loft looking for my brother’s cricket bat, I came across our old family albums. Christ, I hadn’t looked through those in years! I inherited them when my Granny passed away – may she rest in peace – and now I feel ashamed that they ended up forgotten in the loft for so long. I’m sorry, Gran.
The rest of today has been spent down Memory Lane. I curled up on the sofa with the dusty photo albums by my side, and I didn’t look up again until I’d looked through every single picture. I felt I owed my Granny, and the rest of the family, that much at least.
I laughed. I cried. I promised myself I wouldn’t let it go this long again without a good reminisce.
I feel kind of sad now, so I’m going to bed.
You know, going through my old family albums yesterday got me thinking. What kind of visual evidence am I going to leave behind? Like so many people, all of my photos were stored online, either on my Facebook, Instagram, or wherever else I decided to post them. All digital, all online; now all gone. So many memories. So many fun times, and what do I have to show for them? On my Facebook I had albums of birthday parties, trips abroad, weddings, you name it. If the Internet never comes back those photos will be lost forever.
Bloody hell, that’s a depressing thought.
No, you know what? I’m not going to let two entries end on sad notes. Yes, it’s a shame that so much of what I captured of my life is now inaccessible, but what’s the sense in getting all maudlin over it? The way I see it I can do one of two things: shed a tear into a glass of wine or two, or get busy working on some new memories.
Tomorrow I’m going out and buying a blank photo album. The Internet may be gone, but I can still get my digital prints done at the local supermarket.
I love it when a plan comes together.
Bugger! I forgot to buy Pritt-Stik. Back to town for me.