For the past two weeks I’ve been struggling with internet issues. A strong signal requires that I walk to the Club House/Office in the condo complex where I’m staying. I get one bar (if I’m lucky) on the balcony, but step inside and nothing – nada – zilch!
The first couple of days I thought my frustration level would drive me to drink. On top of that, Outlook Explorer wouldn’t send messages; I could only receive. No one has figured that one out.
I’m writing a book. I need to do research. I need my e mail. I’m spending half my day going between the condo and the office! Occasionally I told myself how foolish I’m being. There is a civil war in Syria; banks are crumbling; people are without jobs and I’m complaining about internet connections?
I’ve spent fourteen days spitting and cursing, making a dozen trips to the office, complaining and whining – then anger and rage followed by Buddhist meditation to calm down.
It dawned on me this morning (I know – I’m slow) how very dependent we have become on this phenomenon called the internet. It crept up slowly for me and most of my generation. My kids (does 33 count as a kid?) grew up with it; they’re used to this hectic pace. I am not.
I realized today that when we talk about our lives flying by at the speed of light, about time moving so quickly we don’t have time to think – it is true – it has really happened.
Years ago (not that many) time moved slower. Banking required going to a bank. Driving there, writing out checks, filling out deposit slips, and waiting in line for the teller. If you were a lucky this took a half hour; an hour if it was pay day.
Finding a recipe required searching through cook books, thumbing through recipe boxes, calling a friend.
What’s on at the movie theater? You needed the A & E section of the paper or a phone to listen to a fifteen minute voice recording listing titles, show times, and summaries.
Planning a vacation meant finding a good travel agent, going to the library for a dozen books, reading the dozens of flyers your travel agent sent home with you. Driving to the post office to get your passport. Calling your doctor or the federal government to see what vaccinations you might need. Picking up your printed ticket and other documents. Things simply took more time and a more leisurely pace. But today:
Want to know if a sex offender lives near by?
What day does the kids’ school start in August?
How far is it to Albuquerque?
How much gas will that take?
Will that humongous box fit into my car trunk? (yes, there’s a site for that).
I need contacts tomorrow.
I need my bank balance NOW!
As wonderful as the internet is, we are now inputting, retrieving and accomplishing a month’s worth of information and tasks in one day!
No wonder we’re exhausted all the time. Of course our minds are on overload. The planet may not be spinning faster, but we certainly are!