Off the Grid

22 August 2013

Being in the middle of moving sucks. It really does. I’ve been going back and forth from my hometown to Toronto all month, anxiously awaiting the official “big move” (which happens next Friday, yay!). Anyways, there is a lot to do in preparation for moving, and as much as you can plan things out, (see my blog post about moving tips) sometimes things just happen that you couldn’t have anticipated, and it kind of takes you by surprise.

My plan has been a little complicated when it comes to the internet department. You see, here in my hometown I need to keep the internet up and running (for obvious reasons) before I officially make the move down the the big city. I had called my internet company (who for the sake of my gracious soul, and outstanding character I shall keep nameless) and arranged a transfer of service, so that I could seamlessly switch my internet without losing any of the glorious moments I spend on here. Unfortunately, the person I spoke to had not placed the correct date in. Instead of canceling my services here in my hometown on the 30th, they cancelled on the 20th. Leaving me without any internet. At. All. Now, instead of acknowledging their mistake and offering to send someone over immediately to fix their mistake they told me they wouldn’t be able to have anyone out until next week (even after speaking to multiple supervisors, and a good half hour of back-and-forth “yes, but--”) they even tried to throw a reconnection fee at me. No thanks. Thankfully another company stepped in and saved the day (this one deserves praise: thanks, Rogers) and said they could have someone out on Saturday to get me hooked up, offered to transfer my services, waived all the fees, AND just because I was clearly having a bad day, gave me some extra credit just because.

This all happened Tuesday night, fast forward to today, when I had the genius idea to unlock my phone, and call my internet provider to help me. “It’s really easy”, the agent said, “just plug your phone into iTunes, and the computer will do the rest”. Easy. Hah. I didn’t realize that I would need internet to actually restore my phone. Now, I don’t have internet so you see my dilemma. I was officially, off the grid. I felt as though the world had been raptured, and I was left behind. I quickly brainstormed my options to get my phone back, and thought, “someone has to have an open wifi connection in my building”. Wrong. Apparently people aren’t to keen on getting their internet stolen, not to say that I don’t blame them. My only option was to take the trek to the nearest wifi hotspot.

So here I am, sitting in Second Cup drinking a decaf soy caramel latte listening to two hippies play live music on a keyboard, sitar and maracas whilst I restore my phone (and share my misgivings of internet loss). What baffles me is how lost I felt for the two hours I was without my phone or internet. It’s funny how attached we become to things that were once privileges, not necessities. All that kept running through my mind during my 20 minute walk to Second Cup was “how am I going to tell Jess that I’ll be in the city Saturday,” or “how will I set my alarm for tomorrow morning so I can wash my hair?” All of this is so silly and it kind of put some perspective into my priorities. I like the technology, I really do. Sometimes I might even say I love it, I like that I can go online and be part of a community, I like using Facebook to talk to my family in Halifax, I like texting my friends, and tweeting about hippies in coffee shops, but is it really the end all be all in my life? Today it kind of felt like it. I had a mild panic attack because I felt like I had no outside contact with the world, but the reality is, millions of people can get by each day without it.

Think about it, how did our parents connect with friends when they were in their twenties, or our grandparents? It’s possible, we’ve just become so privileged to having access to everything at our fingertips that we feel like we “need” it. I’m not saying to go throw out your iPhone, and denounce technology in the name of simple living, but take a moment to go off the grid. It kind of feels nice. You realize the world is actually pretty stimulating without having to text your friends about what you’re doing this weekend, or Instagraming your food.

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