An awful thing happened yesterday. At two in the afternoon, I lost my Internet connection. Oh, my Wifi still had full signal, but Comcast was not reaching it.
This wasn’t a total surprise. I’d been hearing trucks outside my window during the few hours preceding that and figured work was being done in the neighborhood. So I waited a few minutes, then tried again. Nothing. I waited a little longer, then tried again. Nothing. I tried my tv, which also connects via Comcast. Nothing.
Fortunately, my phones use Verizon. So I called Comcast. Five minutes of automated menu options later, I was put on hold to wait for an agent. After total silence for another 10 minutes, I hung up and called back. This time, quickly enough, I heard a recording saying that there was an outage an the area and that power would be restored at 5:21 pm. Given an exact time, I was heartened!
That was when I finally returned to my computer to work. I finished the cover letter for my revised manuscript and, feeling delighted to have it done, went to email it to my editor. But, of course, I could not. No Internet connection. Giving Comcast a little more time, I decided to make an Instagram post. But, of course, I could not. No Internet connection. I decided to e-order the book my husband wanted, its title and author jotted on a Post-It on my desk. But, of course, I couldn’t order it without an Internet connection. I couldn’t even check Comcast’s website to see if there was an update.
5:21 came and went. Our tv did come back on, but not Internet or email. I called Comcast again. After spending 50 minutes on the phone with a lovely woman who tried to talk me through rebooting the modem, we concluded that I needed a service call.
Sunday, she said. I told her I needed it fixed within 12 hours because I had work issues – which, BTW, were monumental. At least, I hope you all will think that. I finished doing the revisions on my new book and had just put together a document detailing the changes I either made or did not make, when the Internet had gone out. How to e-mail a 441-page manuscript to New York without it? Not happening.
So the lovely woman at Comcast went back to the drawing board and promised someone here today at 10. He did come. Three hours later, I was reconnected to the web. Seems that the work Comcast had done outside caused a power surge that, even with my surge protectors, killed my modem.
All’s well that ends well. I’m back online, posting this blog, which I would not have been able to do at this time yesterday.
But what a lesson this is about how dependent we’ve become. I can’t tell you how many times late yesterday, yesterday evening, and this morning, I turned to my computer to do something, only to realize I couldn’t do it. No Googling. No Instagram. No checking websites or Facebook. No ordering books online. No reading the news, which is just as well. But think what would happen if the entire Internet grid was disabled. Okay. Maybe that would never happen, given the scope of different connectivity options. Still, if a foreign country wants to mess us up, all they have to do is to go after the biggest of our links to the web. Seriously.
Are you as dependent on being online as I am?