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.


  1. Gypsy, I love this post. I have WONDERED about this stuff myself. I am not that old either and, remember we used to hand write essays- in the 'olden days'. But then, when I wanted to know song lyrics I would painstakeingly play, pause, rewind, play- the cassette tape as I wrote them down (my interpretation). That's not a bad occupation for a teenage girl, I reckon! I also made mix tapes and taped songs off the radio sometimes. I did not dream about Itunes! The pace of change seems very fast sometimes. Oh, and I feel THAT old!

  2. I often think about how great it is that any question that we have, we can just "Google" and find the answer.

  3. Wow! We were without phone and internet for ONE day last week and it was tough. I love Tanya's play, rewind, play memory. I think I spent half my teens doing that. And I think mine was the last year at uni that we were allowed to hand in hand written essays. Times sure are a changing.
    Great post and wonderful to have you back. X

  4. I often wonder why I can't comment on your blog. Perhaps you wonder that too... perhaps you think I am ignoring you, but I am not. So here I am commenting via my Google Account, which I *never* do, to tell you! (Can you enable the Name/URL comment option, I wonder?)

    I think we can still wonder as much, if not *more* these days. Perhaps knowing you can find out the answers could free you up to wonder bigger and more wonderful(!) things? I would, however, like my kids to learn to find answers through more 'archaic' means, and not just to rely on 'Mr Google' all of the time.

  5. I wonder the exact same thing - I was throttled back to dial up speed last week and I swear I nearly had a nervous breakdown.
    Imagine if I couldn't check my email or use twitter or facebook on my phone while I was out and about? Oh the pain!

  6. That is so true! When our internet wasn't working the first thing I did when I got to work was jump on the net and check my emails. I have grown up with the internet from about grade 8 I had email and msn chat. My age group is highly reliant on the internet and "googling" is something we do everday. But now even my grandparents are on facebook. We are the age of the internet!

  7. Great post Gypsy. I remember all those things too and arranging to meet people at a certain place and time because once you were out and about there was no way to find them if they didn't turn up. Now my 7 year old says "I'll just google it" when she wants to know the answer to something.

  8. OH MY GOD!!! kate just emailed me your post as I just wrote one that is so similar!


Thanks so much for taking the time to leave a comment. It's nice to know I'm not just talking to myself here! Hope you enjoy the blog :)