The End of Times

Last week our internet died in the house (of course it did).

We could see it coming, in that for about a month before total death, it had been cutting out a couple of times a week, requiring me to power-cycle the whole system, which involves many modems and routers and hard drives and PVRs and probably the microwave oven, for all I know.

Then one day it just didn’t wake up again, and we learned very quickly that everything we do in this house requires the internet. Asking our Google home about the weather, or to play a song from Spotify? Internet. Controlling our themostat from any room via wifi? Internet. Watching TV, or Netflix, or Crave, or YouTube? Internet. Printing anything I need for work purposes? Internet, because our printer is across the room from my PC and works on wifi.

My youngest came home from school and here’s the conversation we had:

Me: The internet is out.

Her: Uh oh…I have some homework to do. Will I be able to do my Flipgrid [a video upload website for oral school assignments]?

Me: Nope.

Her: Okay…I guess I will just write out the script, and then I can show the teacher that and it will have to be good enough.

Me: Good idea.

Her: I just need to get the questions from Google Drive.

Me: Nope.

Her: Okay…I can Instagram message Martha from school to ask her to look them up for me.

Me: Nope. You will have to actually phone her. With the phone. And then write down what she says, on paper.

Her: WOW. Can I just watch TV for a while and see if it comes back up?

Me: Nope. No video watching services are working.

Her: I…can’t even.

Me: I know. It’s basically the end of times.

I have to say, I was a little alarmed at our total dependence. We still had power, so it’s not like we had to sit huddled in front of the gas fireplace reading by candlelight. We could still cook, and do laundry, and use our phones when needed for essential things like looking up who was in that movie we saw that one time.

But this house does not run without the internet now. We are plugged in basically all the time. Good, exciting, and modern thing? Bad, dependent, scary thing?

I’m not sure.

In any case, we have recovered and are now returned to the 21st century, thanks to a new router. No need to send emergency supplies! We have emerged safely!

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