Twenty minutes into a seven person Teams call the dreaded freeze happened. As I looked at my motionless colleagues on screen, the usual thought sprang to mind – whose connection has gone? Then I realised that I was the only person moving; I must be the guilty party, so a quick refresh of the system, but to no avail. A glance at the router and the absence of the light for the internet, I realised that this was more than the usual lagging connection.
Its now the following day and we’ve been without an internet connection for around 18 hours. Whilst I’m hopeful of the issue being resolved at some point today, being without the utility has certainly made me reflect on the growing reliance we place on the service.
Whilst not of the same impact as the power cuts we experienced in recent storm Eunice, I’ve been quite surprised at home many things I do that are dependent upon an internet connection; the omnipresence of the ‘internet of things’ is brought home at every turn. First, that sense of restriction at being unable to do my usual business stuff – email, search my Salesforce, use my Zoom phone, check LinkedIn or just generally google. But it is the other services that historically operated fine without the internet, but are now are so intrinsically connected. I like listening to the radio as I work, but as I access it via Sonos, that is a no-no. I link my exercise bike to an app, so that is out – what a shame! There was an air of panic in the house last night that streamed TV services were not to be had. Even my computer is behaving like its lost a big part of its operating system and is refusing to behave and every few minutes Alexa moans woefully in the corner that she has no service.
The real benefit of no internet is that it has given me time to think; to pause and reflect. Unfortunately some of those thoughts are stress-filled; I’m imagining the improbable flurry of in-bound emails agreeing to my meeting requests, that I am unable to lock into the diary. That combined with the guilt at sitting here, staring out of the window feeling I should be doing something much busier with my day.
It has also made me think about how much more reliant on the internet we will be in the years to come. As I made my coffee this morning I genuinely paused to consider whether the machine would have been impacted! Fortunately it was not, but I am sure that won’t last long.
So as I near the end of this post I’m wondering how to best upload it. I like to combine posts with a quote (searched from the internet) and an image (searched from Shutterstock – also on the internet!). Perhaps a stroll into village and the local Costa for a flat white and internet that works whilst I await the arrival of a much needed engineer!