This weekend, I cut the cord to my home Internet.
On accident of course (uprooted cables and lawnmowers do not go well together).
Staring at the snapped, orange coaxial cable in my yard, I realized that my family would be without an Internet connection for at least a day until it could be repaired.
What to do? No TV. No music or radio streaming. No ring doorbell video images. No Alexa. No smart oven to preheat. As my wife thought about the impact of a cut cable, a world of possibilities opened up. We only had to go back ten years to think about what we could do, here is how we spent our 24 hours.
1) Sat on the front porch to watch the sunset
2) Tested out our last remaining radio (part of our weather disaster kit)
3) Wondered if we still have a TV antenna to pull in a channel the old-fashioned way.
4) Looked for a good book to read. I use an e-reader, so this proved to be difficult and I dusted off the hardcovers.
5) Started three new home repair projects (though did not finish any of them)
6) Wondered if the yellow glow on our Alexa would ever turn off, she missed her Internet connection
7) Enjoyed time with our new puppy, without having to worry about sharing a picture online with everyone
However, our smartphones continued to have a strong network signal – and we never lost our online connections. The smartphone still never left pocket throughout the day. Mobile hotspots allowed me to turn on my computer and check in at work. Data plans filled in just about every other gap and we were never fully disconnected. I was able to find a YouTube video on how to install a kitchen drawer. I could still share and see puppy pictures. I watched online church Sunday morning while awaiting the repairman. With some very small changes, life did not slow down.
When natural disaster strikes, cell phone towers are now the first items repaired – even before power cables. My experience over the weekend reinforced the connected interdependency that the smartphone brings to our lives. If I truly want to disconnect, it takes more than a cut cable. It will take turning off the phone, as well as turning off my own desire to turn it back on.
Smartphones offer a level of connection unlike any other. Our goal at Here I Am remains to provide an app for churches to stay connected that takes full advantage of this technology!