A Blast To The Past

Since recently moving into our new home, my housemates and I have been living… without internet (dun dun DUN!). The horror, the horror! The only time we have access to the internet is when we’re on campus and, even then, it’s limited to the times that we’re not in class.

Our culture has become one that is so dependent on internet usage. We use it as a means of communication—from writing a quick Facebook comment, to receiving e-mails from professors, to keeping up with friends and family halfway across the world.

We use it for entertainment. We use it to stay informed with things going on around the world. We use it for academic purposes. We use it for the convenience of looking up directions.

We use it for everything. Moral of the story: without internet in this day and age, we’re all gonna die.

Luckily my housemates and I are survivors in this battle, and have (re)learned to function without it.

For those of you with limited internet access (which, if you’re reading my blog on your limited amount of internet time, then a big gold star goes out to you!), here are some of our top tips to keep yourself informed, entertained, and sane during the hard times:

*Cooking: Put down that takeaway menu! Step away from frozen meals! Preparing a meal with fresh ingredients, completely from scratch, is not only healthy, but it’s a fun way to spend an evening after a long day of working. If you’re like me and not much of a cook, then get a friend to help out and learn their techniques.

*Games: Lately my friends and I have taken to playing traditional party games, like charades. You can also pick up a deck of cards or some cheap board games in a charity shop, and do a whole game night.

*Reading: You know that book that’s been sitting on your shelf for months, just waiting to be cracked open? It’s calling your name! It’s saying, “leave that internet hussy and come back to me, baby!”

The same goes for newspapers. I’m sure the big wigs at The Guardian will be happy to know that there’s still a place in people’s lives for actual newspapers. And those people are poor students who didn’t realize that it takes a long time for internet to be set up…

*Flaneuring: Good ol’ flaneuring, always a great way to pass time!

*Face-To-Face Conversations: When I first started working for Ustream, I thought it was odd to be IMing your co-worker, sitting right next to you, instead of just speaking out loud. However, it quickly became the norm and I adapted accordingly.

Even with close friends, a lot of interaction is done through the internet. Facebook, Twitter, IMing, e-mailing, Skype—there is an endless source of ways to communicate online.

Now, it’s been nice to spend more time having long conversations with people. Each person has so much to offer, we can all learn loads of information from each other.

When you look up something on Wikipedia, you can’t ask follow-up questions or opinions. If you want to know something and ask a person to their face, a simple question can turn into a long and meaningful conversation, or an intellectual debate.

It’s easy to take all of these simple things for granted. That being said, I know I’m going to go back to using the internet a lot more once it’s set up. It’s something that is an integral part of our culture, and is here to stay. However, it’s important to remember that there’s a lot of value to be had in logging off sometimes.

So go forth and close those browsers! Turn off your router! But leave a comment before you do… ☺