I have invented a time machine

I discovered this, like many famous discoveries, quite by accident. As I write this, we have no Rogers cable services in a large area of St. Thomas. This means no internet, telephone or television. For me personally, it means that I cannot play internet scrabble with my father, read the RSS feeds I get from hundreds of websites I like to keep an eye on, unable to blog, Facebook, look at lovely young ladies with tattoos and not much clothing. I cannot watch sports, use Netflix to watch a movie, I can’t even watch the Weather Network. I also cannot call anyone, but that is OK but I am not one for personal interacting like that!

So with one misplaced snip, I have been sent back in time to the early 1900s. I am lost in this new world. It looks strangely similar to 2011 though. There are cars similar to ours today, even computers although they don’t seem to be connected to anything, and everything is in colour! I don’t wish to leave my home incase the black plague is doing the rounds or this is all a dream and I wake up naked in the middle of the road.

It obviously isn’t as bad as all that. I have my iPhone so I do have internet and phone but it really makes me think when the services we take for granted longer are available. In 1980 when I was the manly age of 10, we had a telephone, a television with four channels that you had to click on the on/off button and wait for it to warm up before it started showing an image. I seem to remember Citizens Band radio (CB‘s) were making an impact in the UK at the time, probably because of a trucking movie. That was it, there was not any home computers, there was the Atari 2600 but that wouldn’t let you play against anyone who wasn’t sat on the sofa next to you!

I rarely read the newspaper now, I would rather find out the news straight away rather than read it the next day. It is a pity because there are some very good writers who still work for newspapers but why wait for something you can get almost instantaneously? I don’t listen to the radio, I am not sure if it is because I have gotten old and all this new music sounds the same and it wasn’t like that in my day, or if I have just become more choosey with what music assaults my ears.

This technology that we have begun to take for granted and for which we are outraged about when it fails, is not like running water, electricity, or gas. It is an option that we choose to use. Not everybody does. Some people live without cable or satellite, relying on the internet to provide programming to watch. Many now no longer have a landline (we used to just call it a telephone in my day), instead using cell phones. While if you are reading this, then you are using the internet, there are still a lot of people have not gotten onto the interweb. We could live without this technology if we wanted to, it is just that we don’t want to.

Imagine if all of a sudden, a giant computer eating monster appeared and ate up all the computers, everywhere, anywhere, even Apple computers. Forget about how cars would no longer run, hospitals would be losing patients, lots of disasters etc.. but seriously, how many of your friends would you no longer be able to communicate with? How many of you would lose your job because it is computer based? How many murders would occur because families would have to talk to each other rather than use Facebook to communicate?

We rely on cars a lot, many of us use them to get to and from work but if the big automobile eating monster in the sky appeared, it wouldn’t be that bad compared to no computers. In a very short time, we have made computers and the internet part of our daily lives and routines, just the same way that televisions became part of our lives in the last century, just as the telephone did the earlier part of the last century.

It seems to me that we take for granted when the telephone works flawlessly, the internet is fast, delivering whatever you want to see or read, and the television has the show that you want to see but as soon as a service fails, the bitching starts, the complaints, the tantrums. I know that if you are paying for a service you expect it to work but if you are paying for a service, should you not appreciate the service rather than simply taking it for granted?

Yes, I am theoretically cut off from the rest of the world at the moment (ignoring my chirping iPhone) but I don’t find it to be too much of a problem. I can focus my attention on something other than wittering away the hours online or in front of the idiot box.

I can nap!

[Captains log: Additional]

Less than an hour after I wrote this, Rogers is back up and running. Thanks Rogers, I appreciate it!

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