Modern Problems

(With apologies to the film.) My internet at home is down. This isn’t the first time it’s happened and probably won’t be the last, but I marvel at how each time seems to knock more of my routine for a loop. It’s as much as a “Wow, Brian, just how much do you have invested in being connected to the internet?” as it is thinking about how much of that has become the standard.

map of north west washington d c with red exclamation points showing areas where internet is affected
Hooray for internet outages!

A lot of this is on me. Do I need internet-connected appliances, digital assistants, etc? Not really, but they’re nice. Except not seeming so nice when I can’t turn on my accent lights or listen to music/news the way I’m used to. And yet I can’t shake the feeling that I’m whining about it, which is why I’m trying … not to? At least not on social media, which I still have access to from the office or through my phone. But what’s more interesting is that even trying the things I do to isolate or come down, don’t work so well without internet.

Music, movies, any streaming content? Gone. I have media on my local drive, but it means watching/listening to the same ol’ stuff. Video games? Nope. Those mostly need access to the internet to start up and check for updates. Even single-player ones. Books, I have a plenty, but most of them are on my e-reader now. This isn’t the kind of isolation I signed on for!

Aha, but what about my phone, you might say! Oh my god, I didn’t realize how annoying it is to rely on a mobile phone to handle internet business. Hell, even my text messages I usually answer from a computer. Sitting on my own, at-home couch trying to following Twitter, Facebook, Discord, e-mails, etc. feels like such a chore! Even worse when trying to use any of the services in concert. (Like when trying to deal with customer service in one app while they’re sending confirmation codes to another app, etc.) When I’ve been on vacation or travel, it’s the norm, but it’s just not part of my home routine. “Routine” being the operative word.

Dang, ELO, make your royalties!

I think of the waking up and getting ready montages from movies, usually set to “Mr. Blue Sky,” and my daily ones are definitely set. So much so that they’re automated. Lights come on, alarm goes off, music plays, alarm gets snoozed, alarm goes off, repeat, etc. My winding down is very much the same. Watching similar genre shows, low lights, easy music, reading in bed — then sleep. Well, with the internet down, ain’t none of that working right now. So I’m off balance. I’m not a super-organized person, I’m pretty messy, but getting myself up & out in the mornings or in & down in the evenings is fairly well established.

And the biggest thing is that I can’t work from home with no internet. Which makes it even harder to schedule an appointment with a service technician. But again, it’s not like I have much of a choice. So while the lovely customer service reps at xfinity will refund me for lost service, they can’t do that for the money I’m paying myself by being completely off work while they fix it. I can’t imagine what kind of frustrated, depressed, inconvenienced, “I want to speak to a manager” angry I’d be if I relied on an internet connection for my primary income. It wouldn’t be pretty.

Still, I’m coping. Mostly. New gods willing, it will be resolved soon and I’ll be back to posting inane rants and brunch pics just like usual. :mrgreen:

Featured image by Sharon McCutcheon from Pexels

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