Sunday, October 10, 2010
You may have noticed my absence this past week. I would like to state that I have not wavered at all in my committment to Blogtoberfest. I have, however, been marooned by technology this week after we lost our phoneline and our broadband connection. Apparently the ancient copper wire connecting me with the rest of the known universe doesn't cope well with unexpected amounts of water, like, say....rain.
And I must confess, I found I don't cope well without the rest of the known universe at my fingertips.
Which got me thinking. About a time when I didn't even own a computer. Or a mobile phone. Or a GPS. And I didn't know much about the internet, and I certainly didn't access it. And I was okay with that! I got along just fine.
Back then, if I needed to write a letter, I used a pen. I remember after I left school and was applying for jobs, I wrote my resume (with a pen) and took it to a clerical services company, who typed it up for me and printed me out about 10 copies. And this wasn't in the dark ages, people, I'm not that old, this was the early '90s.
If I needed to call someone I used a payphone. Sometimes I even waited until I got home to make the phone call (imagine!). If I needed to get somewhere I hadn't been before, I used a map. If I didn't know something, I looked it up in our huge set of Encyclopaedia Brittanica. Or I went to the library. Or I just wondered about it for a while, and sometimes, I didn't ever find out the answer at all.
But this week, being cut off from the outside world has made me realise just how much I have come to rely upon having all the world's knowledge simply a mouse click away. And it highlighted to me the fragility of that connection which we all take for granted. That little copper wire, that can't even stand a bit of rain, is all that connects me to the rest of the world.
And I'm very connected. I buy fabric from countries I've never been to, I learnt to crochet from watching videos on YouTube, I learnt how to make Marshmallow Fondant from a cake decorator in Finland, I can look at the front door of a house 3000km away using Google Streetview, I can find the answer to my daughter's questions about the current numbers of Emporor Penguins in Antarctica, and I can see what the weather is really like in Italy today.
And I realised that I no longer wonder about things.
Seriously, I don't. Do you?
If I want to know something I just Google it. I can always find the answer, instantly, because someone, somewhere in the world knows what the answer is, and I can connect to them through the wonder of the internet and the world wide web (as long as we don't get too much rain).
And now I wonder whether it's really healthy not to wonder about things...
Maybe I'll just Google it and find out.