An ePresence Outage

It has now been over an hour since I discovered that the Internet service is down. After having gone through the ritual of resetting the wireless adapter and restarting the router and a few other SOPs that I often do, as if I do it for a living, I finally call my service provider to check if they have done (or are doing something). And somehow I am not surprised today when the sane stable recorded voice tells me that there is an outage in my area and of course they are fixing it.

In the nearly two years that I have been with this service provider, this is only the second outage. I won’t be surprised; again, if I go back and check, and find that I am back online already.

And that is what made me write this – I am back online. Not the computer: I am.

When I heard about the outage, I confess, I was a bit lost. Some kind of blanking-out kind-of an experience. No, I didn’t have some thing very important to do that required me to access the Internet. It was already midnight. I might as well have gone to sleep. Yet, I became online by connecting through my phone and checked my email (funny that, because I get my mail directly on my phone anyway). I do have many things I need to do that don’t require the Internet.

I have books to read.

I have a few comps I need to work on.

I have a plane to build.

I have a room to clean.

I have ideas to flesh out.

I have dreams to chase.

I have a river bank to walk upon.

I have a camera I need to drive to the limits.

I have a phone and friends to wake up.

You might imagine that I don’t do these “offline” things. Not true. Yet, not being connected is a good reason to be flustered. Some things are just supposed to work. Whether you actually use them all the time is part two. The knowledge that you are plugged-in becomes more important than ever.

The concept begets the argument of how dependant or even addictive we (not you perhaps, but some of us) have become – at least as far as being connected is concerned. It seems to me that we now spend so much time in ensuring that we are connected – mobiles, instant messengers, social software networks – that we hardly find time to connect! Being connected is more about being plugged in rather than being connected. We build an entire ePresence for ourselves, and an Internet outage is almost an identity crisis of sorts.

Could you spend ten days without the mobile or the Internet?

That’s the longest I have; that was four years ago.

PS: this post was written offline!


22 thoughts on “An ePresence Outage

  1. Nicely put. Liked it. πŸ™‚
    Well, I guess one could say that the context matters in how successfully you can ween yourself from technology. Some lifestyles and work-styles have been enabled by modern gadgetry, and simply couldn’t exist without it.
    Could you spend ten days without the mobile or the Internet?
    Nope.Two days, at most.
    I have in recent times, and in my usual techie world, tried to do without a lot of modern gadgetry. By and large, though, it is hard to simply set aside.I simply could not do my work without a computer. I call up datasheets and other reference information hourly from the Internet..


  2. I believe I have the being-online addiction. I don’t need to be, but I need to be. If that makes sense.Every holiday I take I manage to resist the urge to check my emails. I succeed.That then feels like a real holiday.

    I have a phone and friends to wake up.

    Not doing enough of it I say. πŸ˜‰


  3. ==EU:
    I find a kindred spirit! Perfectly makes sense @ “I don’t need to be, but I need to be.”

    And now I know why I nearly deleted that particular offline thing to do


  4. I can relate to that. I feel uneasy every time I get disconnect from the internet at home. As regards your question if I can spend ten days without the mobile or the internet, my answer is ‘no’. I’m so dependent on these two things. WIthout them, I’ll feel so left out.


  5. ==EU:
    Haven’t received an honest compliment in years!!!

    Yes – same here – seems they have become inseparable from us!

    er…which one?

    imagine if you didn’t get the daily dose, then?


  6. We live our online lives more seriously than our physical ones. Ironic not many ask the question about not keeping in touch with friends in person.


  7. Very nicely said πŸ™‚ I think the contrast between “being connected” and actually connecting is an important one to make. I have to admit, I also tend to get a little flustered without the ‘net sometimes!


  8. a plane to build? wow!
    and a river bank to walk upon – how very pleasant!

    i’m not much of an internet person, nope. did one of those stupid online quizzes – says i am only 40% addicted to blogging. think it was quite a good estimate. i try more often than not to connect – with the chai walla, with the drunken labourer at the liquor shop, with the street mongrel…find it a lot more lively.

    that said, must admit i’ve never been in the not connected situation – except during road trips/holidays when i do it on purpose. today was the 3rd day, and i found connectivity in passing. had time to check one blog and came straight here πŸ™‚


  9. ==Imugi:
    πŸ™‚ I know the feeling!

    a model plane – the Wright brothers’ scaled down version. Not the dreamliner πŸ˜‰ i am not sure if you have attained nirvana or are yet to be bitten hard – in either case – that’s a nice place to be.

    and, honoured πŸ˜€


  10. thats a nice post..i liked ur style of writing…very simple and very calm. reasoning out everything! nice.. πŸ™‚
    have u tried deliberately staying away from the net so that you know you are not addicted? i have…so many times!!


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