Internet Outage

The internet is a very powerful medium. It’s connecting people from around the globe and changing lives. It’s making it easier for everyone to share things with the rest of the world. If you have something on the web, you’re basically sharing with everyone. The internet is the stage and you are the actor. You’re not the director because you don’t control the internet. You’re the actor because you’re playing a role. Whether you choose to be yourself or make up a whole new identity that is up to you.

For most of us, our lives revolve around the internet. It has gotten to the point where the internet is like a necessity and no longer a luxury. I don’t recall there ever being a day where I don’t go online at some point. I have gotten into the habit where the first thing I do when I wake up is go online and check my email. Majority of the times I don’t have anything waiting in my inbox but I check anyway.

I rely on the internet for a lot of things these days. If I need to buy something from Futureshop, I will check out their online store first. If they have it, I would rather buy it online than go into the store and purchase it. That way, I don’t have to worry about waiting for the bus and wasting time. They offer free shipping on all their items so why not. If I’m looking for a good deal, eBay is just a click away. I don’t have to leave my house for anything. E-commerce is going to take over soon. It’s currently going through its growth stage and will soon mature. By then, everyone will be doing everything online.

This brings up the subject of an internet outage. What would happen if one day the internet disappeared? A lot of people are so dependent on the internet that all hell would break loose. There would be nerds calling up their ISP to complain because they are not getting their daily dose of Digg, gamers who play World of Warcraft would go crazy because their clicking finger isn’t clicking and E-commerce companies would be losing millions of dollars. If the internet goes down, most people would be left in the dark. And like the power outage that Ontario experienced a few years back, I’m not sure if everyone will be prepared for it when and if it hits.

A while back I read an article on gaming. There were a few gamers who were banned from the Halo server because they were caught cheating. These people were so into the game that they begged to be unbanned. They sent countless letters to the system administrator begging to be forgiven and that they would never do it ever again. It sounded like these guys were crying because they were banned from a game server. Apparently, their lives aren’t as important as playing these games. If they were to be expelled from school, they wouldn’t try as hard to get back into school as they did to get back into the game. It’s just ridiculous the amount of time and effort that some of them put into their fantasy life.

And then another time Blizzard, the maker of World of Warcraft, received a lot of complaints because their servers were down for something like an hour. The majority of the players went to their forums to post complaints. Is the game worth complaining about because the server was down for an hour? I don’t see what the big deal is. If the service isn’t available, take the time to go outside and get some fresh air or something. Staying inside your room for hours isn’t good for you. There’s a whole other life that is more important than gaming. I have a friend who plays World of Warcraft a lot. Every time I’m over at his house, he’s playing it. Usually, his wife would yell at him because he is neglecting a guest. I assumed that he would just finish up what he was doing and then get off the game but by the time I left his apartment, he was still playing. I worry for his sanity.

Gaming isn’t the only industry that will suffer is the internet goes out. E-commerce is currently going through its growth stage. A lot more people are starting to do their shopping online. I shop online because it’s less of a hassle for me and it’s time saving. I don’t have to worry about the sale people too. I know what I want when I go into a store and I don’t need the sales rep to tell me about it and try to sell me warranties. I do a lot of my shopping on eBay because that’s where the majority of the deals are. If the cost of what I’m purchasing is on eBay is the same as the cost of purchasing it at the store, chances are I’ll still buy it on eBay. I don’t have to worry about leaving the comfort of my home in order to pick up something. I can just wait for the courier to drop it off.

Not a lot of people are accepting the fact that you can do just about everything online. The majority of those who are, are probably tech suave people. I get my shopping done online. I bypass the line ups at the bank and do my banking online. I even talk to my friends on the phone using an online service. I pretty much eat, sleep and play online. But if one day that online medium goes away, that won’t stop me from doing what I need to do. I don’t mind going to Futureshop to buy stuff. I don’t mind going to the bank to take out money there. And if I want to talk to a friend, my phone is always on me so that’s not a problem either.

If the internet was to go out, I’m prepared for it. I try not to depend too much on technology because it can fail without notice. Those of you who are addicted to MSN Messenger and who are constantly checking your emails every two seconds, you should think about disconnecting yourself from the internet for a day or so and see if you can handle it. It’s nice to slow down when you’re on the information super highway and take the time relax.

2 replies on “Internet Outage”

  1. While I have to experience an outage for any real length of time, I am always aware that I’m far too dependent on the Internet. My entire life is online on my groupware server and even my phone is VoIP. When (not if) it goes dark in my house it will go really dark!

  2. I think this whole country is too dependent on technology in general. You take away the ipod, the cell phones and the computer and people will just go crazy. Most of them will be bored out of their minds. I don’t know if anyone will be able to make it through the day.

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