Wednesday, August 10, 2011

An unattractive dependence

...and then the modem expired.

That was late Sunday morning. It is now Wednesday. I await the imperfectly-executed, no-longer-express delivery of a replacement modem and reflect upon my life before a reasonably high-speed internet connection.

For a Monday writing job with the general theme of discovery, I wanted to be certain the man who located King Tut’s tomb was Howard Carter, but couldn’t look it up. I might have phoned someone in whose world Google was alive and helpful; instead I made my best guess. Then I phoned in the article, just like the old days.

There is no need to list the ways I felt adrift without this seemingly essential link to the wider world; you all know the discomfort. We were dial-up people well past the year when that became outre. Dependence crept up on us like the pounds from putting cheese on everything.

When you read this, you’ll know we are restored to our medium-tech complacency. The pathways of commerce and communication are freshly wired. We can resume research, locate photos and pile, with abandon, multiple items in shopping carts as long as we don’t actually order them. I could never have imagined so many possibilities.

My impatience now embarrasses me, grumbling about a trivial inconvenience, about being deprived of something that did not exist such a short while ago and whose absence or presence, in honesty, does not affect our livelihoods. Too many on the planet are without food and water. The sobering effects of perspective don’t allow much room for squirming.

My vocabulary contains a mocking gauge for self-absorbed disaster: my hair didn’t turn out in the back. It refers to a form of teen angst long extinct, or so I hope. Under harsh light, many concerns become equally adolescent. In metaphor, the solution is the same. Put on a hat and go anyway. This, too, will pass.


Antares Cryptos said...

The ambivalence of complaining about the occasional lack of internet reliability versus the knowledge that people live in generational poverty is one I struggle with.

Then I order books in virtual shopping carts, revel in the luxury and log out of the store.

I am still waiting to pre-order a copy of your collected posts, it would allow me to re-read them without requiring internet access to do so.

Glad to hear that is all it was, the temporary absence that is.

Elisabeth said...

I too do not know what I would do, or how I might feel without this link to the outside world. It has become as necessary to me, at least seemingly as my fingers and toes. Thanks Marylinn. You put it all so eloquently.

Erin in Morro Bay said...

I always figured if my hair turned out in front I was doing well!!

Sherry O'Keefe said...

and i was camping this past weekend, sans internet, sans blackberry. we'd camped there before and had come across a small pine tree with eggplant-colored pine cones. this time, wow, the pine cones looked as though they had been iced. i took out my blackberry to use the camera portion...held the camera above my head to get an up-close photo when...what the? the blackberry's internet came back to life. ha! for more than a few moments i was so pleased to think i could walk up this hill, hold the phone well above my head, stand still and receive internet connection to the noncamping portion of my life.



Robert the Skeptic said...

Research has shown that, although computers are ever faster, people still become impatient regarding how slowly things load. We set a new standard for every advance, then judge it by it's inadequacy.

I am sure that if Paris Hilton's chauffeur shows up late, she thinks her life is ruined.

Marylinn Kelly said...

Antares Cryptos - You are so very kind and, should the miraculous happen and a collection (presto!) appear, you will know at once.

The checkpoints are there, popping up in our lives, if we pay attention, to keep us from sliding further into me-centered living, for I swear it is the affliction of our age, at least within a specific population. We abound in luxuries; sometimes we just forget. :D

Marylinn Kelly said...

Elisabeth - Hello, good to see you, and thank you. Does all this ever make you think the pusher gave us a sample of something we will never be able to do without? The addiction was swift. What would happen if it was taken away...or held for a much higher ransom? How much would we pay?

Marylinn Kelly said...

Erin - Yes, thank goodness THAT phase passed. Now I am even less fussy about it turning out in the front. If I can half-cover the thinning top part, I'm doing well. Our radiance transcends mere hairstyles. xo

Marylinn Kelly said...

Sherry - Sheesh, indeed. The hours without internet, so few, really, they could be counted, felt like I'd been marooned somewhere on the Outer Rim. Why, I sat and wrote in my word program rather than in blogger draft, discovered the fun of Photo Booth, explored the too-beyond-my-skills Garage Band. I may consider an occasional day of would help me be prepared. I want to visit and see if you share the eggplant-colored pine cones. Thank you.

Marylinn Kelly said...

Robert - Exactly. Imagine if her chauffeur was late AND her hair didn't turn out in the back? I'm not certain whether we are over-privileged or addicted, but neither makes me comfortable.