Like many others in the world, I like to check my e-mail first thing in the morning while enjoying my caffeinated start up. I woke up one Sunday morning to start my daily routine of weekend nothingness, but found that my day wasn’t going to be as I had expected.
As I attempted to log in to my e-mail, I received a message telling me I was unable to connect to the server. I sat there staring at the screen as I attempted to log in again but I received the same message.
As if I was actually expected a reply, I sat there asking the computer questions.
“WHAT IS YOUR PROBLEM?”, I yelled at the screen, but nothing changed.
I do this everyday, why are you not connecting now?
Why are you doing this to me?
A sinking feeling began to set in.
Was my password correct?
Was my caps lock on?
I knew it couldn’t be my fault. This couldn’t be happening.
The world as I knew it was collapsing around me.
Further investigation revealed my modem was dead. No lights, no power, nothing.
The sinking feeling I had turned into a crushed, beaten feeling as I hit rock bottom realizing what this truly meant – a day without the internet.
I immediately called the cable company’s customer service department for help. I felt like a child lost in the woods. I needed help…
“Is it plugged in?” he asked?
I had to pause for a moment to think I maybe have been an idiot and unplugged it by accident or something but I checked and saw it was plugged in.
“Is the power on” was the next question.
“Are you sure the computer is connected to the modem?”
By the fourth or fifth troubleshooting questing I was getting a bit frustrated.
I explained my situation again to the nice representative. IT DOESN’T WORK…
He politely informed me that because it was Sunday, no one was available to help me.
I would need to wait until Monday to get a replacement modem.
MONDAY? That was forever and a day away. What I would do in the meantime?
No silly kitty videos on You Tube? Let’s not even think about Facebook. How would I know what my best friend’s cousin’s uncle had for breakfast?
What if I missed breaking news from my favorite celebrity about what they wearing last night? What if there was some amazing item on Ebay with only a few minutes left for me to buy?
What could be waiting in my e-mail inbox? I could be the recipient of millions of dollars from the king of an oppressed nation needing to liquidate his riches. All I needed to do is promptly submit my personal information and bank account routing numbers to get paid.
But I couldn’t. I was broken down and stranded on the side of the information super highway. What else could be passing me by in that magical world of the internet?
I collected myself and went about my day, moping along. I walked past a window when I caught a glimpse of something outside in the sky beckoning my attention.
I went out to the back yard to see what it was. There was a bright ball of light that seemed to be just hovering over my house. It felt as if this “light ball” was emitting heat that slightly warmed my cheeks on that chilly fall morning.
The light was different than the glow of my computer monitor. What was this thing?
My first thought was to Google it to my find for an answer, but oh yeah, I had no internet.
As I looked up to the sky, my neighbor yelled across the fence. “The sun sure feels good, doesn’t it?”
I hadn’t seen it for a while, but I remembered something about it from a long time ago.
My kids came outside to see what I was doing. “Push us on the swing” they yelled.
I couldn’t help thinking that I had work to do. I needed to be online, but without that option I had to find another option. The sun seemed to provide the needed motivation
I needed to engage in an activity.
I spent quality time with my kids and watched them as they played with our dog. I stayed outside for a while as I looked for things to do in the yard.
The sun continued to soak into my weary face. After doing some yard work I went back inside. I opened the dusty window blinds and let the light shine in. This light brought a feeling of peace over my nature deprived body.
I got some house cleaning taken care of. I even completed a couple of home improvement projects I had forgotten about. Then, I sat on my couch and relaxed, free from the grasp of electronic tethers.
Before I knew it, it was evening. I sat on my bed, thinking about my day. I was quite proud of myself for the strength it took to get over my lack of connectivity. I was also pretty happy about the time I spent with my kids. I pulled up the blankets and went to sleep.
I woke up on Monday morning with the sun shining in again. This wasn’t just another Monday. Today was the rebirth of my soul. I knew I had to replace my modem, but I was in no hurry to do so.
I began thinking of more things to do that didn’t involve the use of a computer. I knew if I could make through a whole day without the internet, I could make it through anything.
And I did.
I wrote this article back around 2012. Things were a little different technologically back then, but one thing hasn’t changed. You need to get away from the screens once in a while to experience the world.
I have to remind myself of this often as I sit in front of the screen
You should too.
Written by Marty Augustine
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