internet jones

What makes me know exactly how important the internet has become in my life is how nervous it makes me to not have it. This morning, while waking up over a cup of peet’s, I was was ripping CDs, looking up details about a particular jazz sax player I’ve been into lately, paying a couple […]

What makes me know exactly how important the internet has become in my life is how nervous it makes me to not have it.

This morning, while waking up over a cup of peet’s, I was was ripping CDs, looking up details about a particular jazz sax player I’ve been into lately, paying a couple of bills, and checking weather for the day to see if it was going to be warm enough to ride to work.

In the middle of all this, comcast suffered an epic fail, and completely crashed my entire city (as they later told me on the phone, though without using those exact words).

The thing is, that entire list above was just what I was doing as I sipped my coffee; all at the same time. For people like me with short attention spans, multi-tasking is a natural sate. Real life doesn’t support multi-tasking very well; I can’t scramble an egg while I read a book, or change my oil while I drive to the store. But I can check a bank balance at the same time I pay a bill, or read about a sax player at the same time that I read his discography and look up details about the kind of horn he liked to play.

So when I lost my connection, and it began to be obvious it wasn’t just a temporary fall-out, I began to get very, very twitchy.

Particularly when I’m still sleepy, I need something to do with my hands. In the old days I used to read newspapers; typically while standing in the kitchen. I don’t want to sit down when I first wake up; I need to move, get blood flowing. I need to get my brain awake with some sort of simple, tactile activity. Information, with only minimal interaction. Don’t talk to me in the morning, I tell people; you’ll get at best grunts and growls, and maybe worse if you start asking question.

When I began to switch from newspapers to the internet for my morning information dose, it was a dove-tail fit; all the info I wanted, something to do with my hands, and the ability to interact only as my brain woke up. The ability to do five things at a time, with no idle waiting.

This morning I find myself increasingly agitated. I hate waiting

When does something go from being a toy, a novelty, to being a ubiquitous part of life? When does it go from being a convenience or a source of entertainment to being something upon which we depend for most basic needs?

My kids have no memory of a time before the internet; indeed, when I do the math, many of today’s college students don’t remember a time when they could not email or web browse. While my co-workers all remember a time when ‘internet connection’ meant a dumb terminal and a 2400 baud modem, if you happened to have such a thing at home, and when email was something you used at work. But remembering the time when only über-geeks knew what internet meant does not help me today; I am as dependent on connectivity as any twelve-year-old WoW player.

(I lose sooo many geek points, as Jeff Hoooooover points out; it’s WoW, not W-O-W. I doth hang my head in shame. Ok, fixed, but still…)

0 thoughts on “internet jones”

  1. I, um, *flip* over a Comcast outage longer than thirty seconds.

    So happens an unwittingy kind neighbor across the street has an unsecure router and Verizon. Cough.

    Not that I’d ever take advantage of such a situation.

    (I don’t even feel guilty, that’s the worst part. We’re talking life or death here!)

    hugs, E

  2. Ahhh…. Teh Intarweb addiction.

    Yes, I get twitchy. I’ll check it 10 times to see if it’s up yet, pop up and down in my chair like a jumping jack…
    Then I sigh, turn OFF the computer, and I’ll pace.

    See, I had no internet for the full year I was in my apartment, although I was able to check email and such at work or here at Sic_un’s. You learn to fill the time, watch the local channels if you MUST know what’s going on in the world, call your bank for the balance, pick up the newspaper at the store…

  3. What do you mean “see if it was going to be warm enough to ride”?
    Don’t tell me you are a 40/40/40(above 40 degrees, wind under 40MPH, and less that a 40% chance or rain) rider.
    As far as remembering pre-internet days, how about… Share Time. Remember that? Having to set a time to have your computer call another one with a modem that you set the hand set of the phone into?

  4. Sic-un, let me re-pharse that- warm enough to ride without any extra gear. I have a three mile ride from home to work and generally don’t put on full leathers for the commute, just jacket/helmet/gloves.

    Though I admit to being wimpier about it than the old days, I used to ride year ’round and owned no car. I find that with fourty comes a preference for comfort I didn’t have at 28; warm water diving, motorcycling when I don’t generally need rain gear, comfortable seats in my vehicle.

  5. I realized just how dependent I am when looking at houses – my decision was largely dependent on having that high-speed internet. Sucks, doesn’t it…

  6. “Particularly when I’m still sleepy, I need something to do with my hands. In the old days I used to read newspapers; typically while standing in the kitchen. I don’t want to sit down when I first wake up; I need to move, get blood flowing. I need to get my brain awake with some sort of simple, tactile activity. Information, with only minimal interaction. Don’t talk to me in the morning, I tell people; you’ll get at best grunts and growls, and maybe worse if you start asking question.”

    Okay, call me one-track and all, but when I read this I lost the entire point of your post.

    A simple, tactile activity to help you get the blood flowing? I have a few suggestions that would not tax your sleepy brain. Grunts and growls indeed.

    Eve

  7. “Twitchy in the morning without internet. Giggle. That sounds like a good reason to give it up sometimes. It might just be fun. I’ve had some very enjoyable mornings that left me “twitchy!”

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