INTERWEBZLESS IN INVER GROVE HEIGHTS

by Steve Clem on April 27, 2012

I dare you to shut off your interwebz.

Pull the plug for a day. Or two. Or deal with it like I did for 8 days in a row.

It’s hard for me to explain the withdrawal I experienced. Considering the fact that 20 years ago, I didn’t even know what email or cell phones were. Ok, well cell phones existed, but they were the size of a small puppy, and caused you to grow tumors the size of grapefuits in your head.

But I digress. The point is, for the last week, I felt like I was forced to not wear underwear, deodorant, or wash my privies. And sport a unibrow.

Life without interwebz, and by interwebz I mean on a machine that is bigger than 3 x 5 inches, is rough, yo. I feel like I just pretty much went through the equivalent, technology-wise, of growing up in Compton, CA with a mom who insisted I wear red, white and blue to school every day.

My battle with Comcast was far from epic, but I won. I refused to pay them for coming out to fix my internal line. Whatever that meant.

When the Comcast technician arrived today, he figured it out within seconds. “You have loose connections to your modem, which led them to put a filter on your line that kept you from accessing the internet.”

Huh?

“They detected a leakage on your line from loose connections, so they put a filter on your line that shut off those leaks, and made it necessary for me to come out and visit you.”

My only question was basic. Why didn’t the 18 customer service reps I dealt with so far know this fact?

“Sometimes our maintenance guys are bad about logging their work in the system.”

Really?

So someone at your company didn’t follow through on their job, and therefore I got to try and guess for over a week why I didn’t have internet access?

There was even a tag on my cable hookup that told the technician that was what happened.

“Why didn’t the maintenance guy tell the customer service rep this information, which would have saved me a wasted trip to switch out cable modems?” I asked.

“Um…let’s check your connection speed now that I have it set back up,” he replied.

Accountability.

I live by it in my daily life. With my sons not doing their homework. With my employees not doing their jobs (which fortunately is much more rare than my sons not doing their homework). With my own self. I do hold myself accountable these days. Wasn’t always the case, but something happens when you get over the age of 40, you start to realize you’re the one to blame, nobody else.

So, me, the guy who refused to have a cell phone when it was cool, and the guy who still refuses to cave to the notion that the only good TV is a flat one, is now saying quite definitively that living without the interwebz is not a good thing. It’s counter-productive.

And it’s not just my Facebook addiction saying that. I couldn’t manage my bank account like I wanted to. I couldn’t reply as easily to important emails. I couldn’t easily write a blog, unless it was a haiku.

I was ready to throw my phone against the wall every day for not performing like my laptop, and a home interwebz connection could.

So imagine my delight tonight when I had an awesome Comcast technician finally fix my interwebz.

It was only sullied by the fact that my phone decided to stop taking a power charge from any of my three chargers. Goodbye mobile interwebz, hello real interwebz.

So, while the last week has meant you could easily find me via text message, now you’ll have to switch to commenting on my Facebook statii (plural of status, no?) to get my attention. I don’t think I’ll get another text message for at least 31 days, given my history with corporate technology giants.

So, just remember this when you’re trying to contact me. Try text/email/phone/smoke signals. Or else I may just miss your message.

Oh and morse code on telegraph works too.

–. ..-. -.– /  …- . .-. .. –.. — -.
Steve Clem is a divorced dad, a recovering Republican, and a Prisoner in the Tundra. He is in the Guinness Book of World Records for being part of the largest Hokey Pokey of all time. He was the founding editor of the Iowa City weekly ICON. 
(This piece originally appeared on the blog A Prisoner in the Tundra)

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