Last week was a different week for me. I didn’t think that something so small could make such a big difference to my life, and as much as I thought I could do without it easily, it seems that I cannot, not really. You must be wondering what I’m talking about... It’s my internet connection of course!
For about 4 days last week I had no internet connection! There was a fault which needed to be fixed by the service provider, but like many things in South Africa, it took very long to sort out. It turned out that all it was, was a loose wire. If only someone had some time to check that out on the same day we reported the fault, but in any case, 4 days later they finally found the time and my misery was put to an end. Alhamdullillah.
Okay so maybe it wasn’t exactly misery, that could be a vague generalization, but I can tell you that I felt lost. It really felt like life had just stood still. All the work that was waiting for me couldn’t be done because e-mails had to be sent out first and naturally without internet, I couldn’t send emails. So I moped around waiting for the connection to be fixed again and that’s when I realised how dependent I have become. I mean really, my work got set back a whole week because of one disconnected wire, this really was an eye opener as to how much of my activity actually dependents on the internet working.
Besides my work not getting done, I couldn’t blog, e-mail anyone, read anyone’s blogs or web pages. I couldn’t get the details for payments that I had to make because it was on the internet, I couldn’t order my brother’s university textbooks because I was supposed to be doing it online. Every time I thought about something I had to do, I was reminded that I couldn’t do it because I had no internet access. How crazy is that?
A while ago I began trying to spend less time on the internet, I knew that it took up a lot of my time, but I guess I didn’t realise the extent. Can you imagine that it seemed like my world had stood still, all because of a silly internet connection.
Yet the world didn’t stay still at all, neither did it end. I still woke up every day, I still managed to complete my daily chores, perform my daily worships, keep in touch with people... The sun still rose and set, the day still continued to go on and the earth still continued to go round. The world’s problems continued, politicians kept up their usual appearances as they worked hard to fool the masses, crime still continued, people still died (not because of their inability to access the internet), children still continued to go to school, cars still continued to drive...the world moved on and on, and my little issue with internet disconnection meant nothing at all.
So now I am back and I have to admit that I didn’t miss much at all. Yes, Whitney Houston was found dead in her hotel room, that’s about the biggest news right now, (or maybe it’s already old news). So I was set back a few days with work, but now the e-mails I had to send out is all done and everything else I needed to do will be sorted out soon. So in fact, it wasn’t such a big deal at all.
It’s easy to get caught up in cyberspace, it’s even easier to conduct all your activies through cyberspace-being able to shop online or pay a bill online really does save a lot of time and energy...but what this has taught me is that even though this is the Information Age, we do not need to be dependent on the internet. There was life before the internet took the world by storm and there will be life after the internet as well. The internet does not sustain our lives, and definitely does not make the world go round. So it may take a bit of adjusting, or a lot of adjusting, depending on your own personal internet usage, but life will continue.
When I look at the green trees and red roses, the white daisies and the blue skies, the rain that falls and nourishes everything, the golden sunshine which shines so bright and even the glowing moon on a dark night, when I think about all this I am reminded about what life really is about. We were not meant to sit in front of the computer screen the whole day, taking in beauty from simulations. The world is moving around us, even quicker these days, perhaps we should reduce our internet dependence and take the time to look around us, before the world really does come to an end.
Image from here