Z for short

"To write more, write more." This is my writing notepad.

I wasn’t meant to live offline

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Writing prompt:  Could you live without the internet for a week? For a month?

Short answer: A week, maybe. A month, no.

“We managed before,” someone argues. True, but with the arrival of Internet, all kinds of services have adapted to the online reality and are organized differently than before. I have organized my work differently. I don’t send floppies by courier anymore, I don’t snail mail stacks of printed paper documents, and I don’t go to the library to look up information. And who goes to the bank to pay their bills today? If Internet suddenly went away, we would have to reorganize everything again.

I once lived with limited Internet connection for a month. This was before we could hook up wirelessly to the net from almost any coffee shop or check for new emails from our cell phones. I was taking a Finnish language course in Helsinki and brought my work laptop with me. Every day after class I spent an hour at a library with Internet access, and I also checked my email from a cybercafé in the evening. I copied files from customers to a floppy and worked on them on my laptop. Then I went back to send the files when I was done working with them.

It wasn’t convenient, just a necessary workaround for a short period of time. I guess it would be more critical today, with sky computing and with so much of our social life going on in the social media.

As I don’t have the need to know what people are doing at any given time of the day, I could live without Facebook. Twitter I mainly use as a link feed and I could live without it for a while. My blogs are very important to me and I wouldn’t like to live without them. What I couldn’t live without is email. That’s my primary communication link to customers.

I know how it was to live and work offline, and I know how it is to live and work online. I wasn’t meant to live in an offline world – so disconnected – and I don’t suffer from pre-Internet nostalgia. Take away my Internet for a little while if you Absolutely have to, just get it back to me asap, OK?


Written by Solveig Hansen

February 7, 2011 at 4:16 pm

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