A SLICE OF LIFE
Lori Borgman finds the funny in everyday life, writing from the heartland of the US. Now, if she could just find her car keys…
Our columnist Lori Borgman took a much-needed vacation – right in her home, just minus the internet.
Other than the fact that we bank, pay bills, monitor credit cards, communicate with friends and family, stream television, shop, read, socialise, read restaurant menus and work online, we’ve never considered ourselves overly dependent on the internet.
Then we lost our internet. We may be a wee more dependent than we thought.
Our service provider said it was a central line issue that would take a week to fix. On the bright side, as they tried to isolate the problem, they said we might have service intermittently – which accounts for the scrapes and bruises on our legs.
Whenever we saw the little green lights on the modem flash, we raced to our computers. Even in the middle of a meal, if we saw a flash of green, we bolted from the table, knocking over chairs, and lunging at our computers with forks still in hand.
“I’ll pay the credit card! You check the bank balance!”
And then the service cut out again. Once, the lights flashed green and the husband hurdled two full laundry baskets stacked atop one another. It would have been a spectacular sprint, had it not been for a pair of shoes on the other side of the laundry baskets.
The green lights had already stopped flashing by the time he was upright.
We tried working on cell phones, but quickly went over our allotted data usage and faced insane charges. We agreed not to touch them. Or even look at them.
All the nuts and bolts of our lives are neat and tidy, well-organised, encrypted in a virtual cloud that was now lashing us with lightning bolts.
Other clouds hovered overhead. A large, dark cumulus followed the husband. As for me, an anvil-shaped supercell sat on my left shoulder. We were grumpy, on edge and frustrated. It was like trying to style your hair for a special event with both arms in casts.
When I needed a recipe, I instinctively flew to the computer. Dead end. On nearby bookshelves sat two dozen recipe books. Browsing through them was delightful.
I no longer looked up words online, but in a real dictionary.
We checked temperature and humidity with our own skin instead of online weather apps.
Television choices were limited, so we pretty much shut the squawk box down.
The quiet felt like a much-needed vacation. We spent time admiring a few sunsets and, on several occasions, even made eye contact with one another.
Access to cyberspace is a marvellous wonder that comes at a cost. The siren call of glowing screens never wanes. One more thing, one
When I needed a recipe, I instinctively flew to the computer. Dead end. On nearby bookshelves sat two dozen recipe books
more thing. Constant internet access creates a background of constant urgency. Google is the great enabler of constant distraction.
Our service is back now. It was a great sigh of relief to once again cruise the high-speed lanes of cyberspace. We can’t live without it, but we can do better at mastering it instead of letting it master us.