Posts Tagged ‘Internet’

Stranded in a Wireless World

Wednesday, September 8th, 2010

Tonight I had a chance to experience a total electronic communication failure.  You know, the kind we talk about as we become so dependent on wireless technology that would be detrimental to life as we know it.

The drive home from work today started out fairly normal.  I had charged my phone a bit during the day so I figured I would have more than enough battery to use my phone if needed.  As it happens, I was stopping by the grocery store on the way home.  I get to the store and realize my phone is completely dead.  No battery.  Not sure how it happened, but I didn’t know what I was picking up so I needed to call my wife.  I was glad I brought home my USB charging cable.  I plugged it in to the cigarette lighter adapter, and….nothing.  No charge.

I then thought I could try charging the phone on my netbook, or at least connecting to a Wi-Fi hot spot that popped up in the brief moment I was on my phone.  Netbook was dead too.  I hadn’t used it in a long time, so the battery was done.

I had one last ace in the hole.  Surely the iPad can connect to a Wi-Fi network and save the day.  Nope.  It was dead too.  I charged it in the last week, and hadn’t used it much, but sure enough there was no battery.

Three strikes, and I am out of luck at this point.  I look around for a payphone, but realize that without any cash or coins I was stuck with collect.  I’ve never tried calling collect to a cell phone, but figured tonight would not be the night I tried.  I accepted defeat and drove home.

I had been thinking about getting a landline for emergency use.  Tonight’s experience improved the likelihood that I will go ahead and get one.

Being completely stranded in a society that is becoming increasingly wired (or wireless in this case) created an awkward feeling.  Knowing that I had no choice but to drive home to find out what I was supposed to get at the store was not as annoying as I thought it would be. It did say a lot about the addictive qualities of an internet-supplemented lifestyle though.  As much as I try to disconnect from time to time, the fact is I spend a good portion of my day online.  Whether blogging or building websites, I am online a lot.  I earn a living online.  Getting disconnected is the last thing someone like me wants.  Perhaps it is what I needed.  It is good to remember the way things were, if only for a moment.

How about you?  Have you ever been completely disconnected inadvertently?  How did it feel?  Let me know in the comments.