My British Lit students are currently creating blogs in a unit based on the works of Samuel Pepys. But in the last week, for two days, the internet and wireless connections at school have been down or intermittent at best. During one class I had computers in my room, but they functioned only as paper weights since no one could get online.
Today my colleagues spent our common planning period frantically trying to check mail, print up class materials (our printer is through the same wireless system as our computers), and look up things online. We all stared at the little icon indicating the computer was trying to connect, waiting for “Wireless Network Connection is now connected.” And it never came.
I realized I’m feeling the same sense of loss that I felt the day that I lost my cellphone. I realize how necessary it has become in my life to feel connected to friends and the world.
A friend drove out to Colorado to ski. He took the trip alone and when he got to the house that he had borrowed, it had no phone, no television, no wi-fi. There were six houses nearby but no lights ever came on. He had to travel eight miles for Starbucks, a newspaper and wi-fi. He described how totally alone he felt and cut off from the world. As a result, he cut his trip short by a week.
So here we are in the Age of Technology with one of its obvious flaws. One must connect with the internet in order to use it—and suddenly without it, our “global sense” disappears and we become isolated humanity.