Ross Good, AKA The Stented Papa, reveals what it's really like when the internet goes down in a family home.
Two words that can send shivers down most people’s spine these days. Boils can break out alongside the ‘DTs’ kicking in. I kid you not. We are addicted to the net.
The fact of the matter is the Internet has become so essential to us all (in numerous ways) that it’s practically inconceivable for us to contemplate the words ‘No Internet’. And I’m not just talking about Gen X or Z - it’s practically all of us including our parents.
I was thinking about this topic recently when we were coming to the end of our contract with our broadband provider and we were considering switching to a different provider. This wasn’t a problem for me personally but I was thinking more about my girls and the fact that there would be no internet for a while.
Que meltdowns followed by tantrums, handheld screen devices being fecked across the room only to be followed by numerous ‘Dad, I’m booooored’ & ‘What? Play outside? What the hell are ya banging on about?’ (again & again & again).
(Ahem... Just to say, our nips are not that type (thankfully!) and we limit screen time just the same as the next family. So yes, I’m slightly exaggerating here but never the less, at ages 7 and nearly 4, digital access to anything screen-related is all they have ever known, so not having a connection does have a negative effect on them for a while).
First World Problems!
No Internet doesn’t only mean no Netflix or YouTube.
No no, it also means no Apple TV / Roku, etc. There’s also no Alexa or Google Home which means no Spotify and therefore no playlists to listen to. It also certainly means no "normal" TV stations and trust me, that's like offering them the worst option on the face of the planet!
No Internet = disaster. Serious problems, right? Ah, the world we live in today.
Tech Tech Tech
Technology drives everything. Pretty soon the air outside your house will be controlled by an app on your phone (I should probably add a disclaimer to that but you know what I mean!)
Don’t get me wrong, I love tech and all the advancements it brings to enhance our lives - I simply couldn’t do what I do without it. The relatively new concept that is ‘Smart Working’ is alive today thanks to the internet.
My wife works from home for two days a week, saving her a load of time (and stress) of commuting long distances. Right now, I’m writing this post in a coffee shop and looking around me, at least 40% of customers are doing something similar. Mega benefits to many people.
I mean, how’s a normal daily/friendly chat going to go? I’ve seen it first hand where teenagers can’t hold a conversation because they are so used to hiding themselves in their rooms playing online games chatting through their headsets.
Put a human in front of them and words simply run out fairly fast. Am I alone in this observation? I seriously doubt it.
I’m wondering if a normal conversation like I love having with friends & even strangers you bump into in a coffee shop or end up sitting beside on a train, for example, will even happen by the time our kids are grown up?
Will a chat happen using actual words or will that essential life skill be so diminished that future conversations will be online via an app-only?
Don’t even get me started on the ridiculous importance a teenager puts on the number/lack of likes they get on the hundreds of photos they put up of themselves online. Jesus H Christ.
Parents - Educate Yourselves Please!
What I’m shocked with is the number of parents who simply haven’t a clue about social media and apps. Bar Facebook and maybe one or two others, forget it.
Due to my last job in a tech start-up and being a blogger, I have a fairly good grasp of social media and understand its pro and cons. Most bloggers do, but some don’t.
That said, I’m completely shocked at the amount of (non-blogging) parents I’ve heard saying sentences like ‘Jayzus, I’ve no idea how to work this Facebook thing’ or something similar and in today’s world, it’s just bananas.
At the very least, you need to have a basic understanding of what’s existing and what’s new because the fact is, your children will and once they figure out you haven’t a breeze, they’ll smell blood and will run rings around you. You won’t have a clue what they’re up to online.
This will give them free rein to do what they want on their phone/tablets and you’ll be on the outside trying to look through a foggy window. Now that is scary. Don’t be that parent. Read up, get the basics and keep yourself updated. P.S. It’s not just about Facebook!
No Internet - What Harm?
So when we swapped provider, we had no connection for about three or four days. Now while that wasn’t sustainable for my wife and I work wise - I was delighted to see the nips do other activities that were not reliant on fibre cables and screens and it did no harm to them. Hmm, food for thought.
What do you think?
Catch you next month, folks.