A couple of weeks ago the powerful flash of lightning and instantaneous explosion of thunder blasted a tree next door to my little house. I laughed at how startled I became. I glanced at the clock. It read 3:19 PM. The most surprising aspect about the lightning, is that there was no thunderstorm in progress. The strike just happened in isolation.
I was in the middle of a web search for repair tips to tune up an old Singer sewing machine for an aunt. Soon, the dialogue box for my dial-up connection popped into view and the process of reconnecting to the Internet began. (Yes, I still have dial-up.) There was no dial tone. The retry feature kicked in, I clicked for an immediate connection. No dial tone.
I checked my other landline phones. They were normal. My cellphone worked fine, too. The sinking feeling of a toasted modem came over me. I ran diagnostics, checked everything over and even ran the disk defragmenter function. No change. I still had WiFi so a trip to the coffee shop or public library would have to suffice until I figured out what to do next.
Another problem was that hail, sleet and snow were also falling from the sky to form a coating on every exposed surface. The lock on the garage door was also seized. There would be no getting away from home until sometime the next day. Oh well. I got the feeling of isolation closing in.
I eventually settled down and accepted the situation. I busied myself with some household chores. And tinkered around with some gadgets. I became centered enough to work up a flower arrangement. Creative projects really work to center my mind into Zen-like consciousness. There are plenty of distractions to be found in today’s world.
It came to mind that we’re quite dependent upon the web for so much. Just about any sort of communication, entertainment, and information happens there. We take it for granted. I thought about how society would freeze if someone or something caused a power surge over the nation. It could be a large exploding meteor or some sort of deliberate attack by some terrorists. Everybody would experience what I’m experiencing right now.
It dawned on me that we are increasingly a nation of virtual relationships. Even intact families are experiencing the isolation of hyper individuality. I know of some folks who must resort to Facebook and Twitter in order to communicate with their kids at home. More often we conduct business online. It’s easier to shop at home and bank at home. Less need for face to face interaction, contributes to the job shortage problem, too.
I could bemoan modern society and the Internet for several pages, but I won’t. I see and obtain much benefit from the web. Personally, I derive more positive than negative aspects from it. It’s just that many of us can lose track of non-virtual life sometimes. As the web and automation become even more integrated with our lives, what will become of the real world?
While we can be connected to countless people, virtually, are we cut off from ourselves, actually? I’ve noticed plenty of sites and offerings that give us the opportunities to optimize, streamline, actualize, and get in touch with ourselves. If we are not happy or satisfied with the way of our life, we need only take the plunge into a new lifestyle technique. If we’re feeling alone or cut off, all we need is social networking. If we want stuff, well, there is plenty to buy on the web.
If you want to really get in touch, just break away from the web for awhile. If you find yourself thinking you will be highly inconvenienced, it may be time for a break for a few hours. Does the thought of going away without your phone, tablet, computer or whatever other device, freak you out? It may be time to leave the electronics behind temporarily.
For those of us living on limited incomes, this scenario could happen involuntarily. For those of us living on this unstable planet, the involuntary situation might happen, anyway, too.
How do these thoughts make you feel?
It’s time for me to melt the ice from the locks and chip away the coating of sleet away from the garage door so I can drive to the library for their wireless connection. I have emails to collect and send. What’s been happening on Facebook? How about the latest updates on my favorite sites and blogs? I want to post this to my blog.
I want to reconnect for awhile.
The Blue Jay of Happiness notes that this post was written during the continued wintery mix of precipitation and inconveniences, two weeks ago.