Yesterday afternoon, I got home from the gym, like I do almost every day of the week. I proceeded to my routine of grabbing a bottle of water and heading upstairs to my black leather recliner where I grab my Google Nexus to check my email, track the stock markets, peruse Facebook, and check the news. Only, something was wrong. Something was very wrong. A troubling message flashed across the screen, “unable to open page, check your internet connection.”
Thus began a frantic thirty minutes of that most rare and hopeless exercise, me as an IT troubleshooter. The only thing I was able to discover was that none of the internet connection-reliant devices in my house were functioning. My computers were worthless, the television was out, and even my cell phones could not make an internet connection. To make this untenable situation even worse, my wife wasn’t home. See, in the Dunnevant house, there is only one person with the patience and technological savvy to get to the bottom of something like this, and she was at the grocery store or some such worthless place instead of here fixing the internet. Soon, Kaitlin got home. I asked her what to do. Aren’t the millennials supposed to be tech-savvy? She walked into my study and peered at the router thing with the blinking lights for a minute then confessed, “Who am I kidding? Where’s Mom?”
Thirty hellish minutes later Pam got home and began barking instructions. Nothing she tried worked. Apparently this outage was “ice storm related” and would require a visit from a Verizon Fios Professional who would be glad to service us Thursday between the hours of one and five. WHAT???!!! We can put a man on the moon, but let one eighth of an inch of freezing rain fall from the sky and our internet goes out? What are we to do for the next 48 hours for Pete’s sake? Don’t these people know that Christmas is coming? How are we supposed to do our online shopping, HMMM???
The rest of the night I walked through the house like one of those Zombie Apocalypse people, trying to find something to do with myself. I couldn’t watch the game. I couldn’t play Words With Friends, I couldn’t stalk my Son on Facebook. All of a sudden a bitter realization blazed across my consciousness. I am a slave to the machine. Despite all of my efforts at independence, all of my vain conceits about being contrarian, I have been co-opted by big brother’s grid. My life has become dependent on connectivity. They’ve got me.
So I sit and wait for the nice man driving the Verizon van to arrive.