Midlife Monday ~ When Your Internet Sucks

There was a little girl,  Who had a little curl,  Right in the middle of her forehead.  When she was good,  She was very good indeed,  But when she was bad she was horrid.

LIFE IN THE COUNTRY

We live in a large country town which is 20 minutes from a good sized country "city" and a couple of hours away from Perth - the capital city of Western Australia. We see ourselves as living the dream - all the mod cons without the traffic and stress. 

Out our way, we have several internet providers to choose from and I thought the one we chose did a pretty good job.....until recently! The last few months have been a roller coaster ride of great one minute and AB-SOL-UTELY useless the next. I'm beginning to think our internet provider has a curl right in the middle of it's forehead......because when it's good it's very, very good and when it's bad it's HORRID!

HOW DID I BECOME SO INTERNET DEPENDENT?

One of the big components of blogging (if you actually want anyone to know you've written something lately) is social media. You have to share you blog posts, you want to reciprocate when others are kind enough to share your stuff. You want to read, and comment, and share, and like, and interact and it's BL**DY near impossible when your internet signal is a snail's breath away from non-existant!

I am on holidays at the moment - a glorious month with nothing planned - lots of internet surfing was on the menu, but instead, I'm in the middle of a month of email that sort of works, Facebook that barely loads, Pinterest that loads sporadically, and don't get me started about the impossibility of downloading anything bigger than a postage stamp (a low resolution postage stamp at that!) 

The thing that amazes me is how much this impacts on my life. Did you know that people used to live their entire lives without being attached to their laptop or phone (I know - weird, right?) I am on holidays at the time being and a large chunk of my day seems to be devoted to cruising around the interwebbities reading stuff and looking at pretty pictures. Don't even get me started on Wikipedia and what happens when you start clicking on links, and more links, and more links, and more links......

ADDICTION?

I am not totally addicted to my laptop and social media, but I'm thinking that I'm pretty close. Unfortunately there seems to be less and less on television that interests me nowadays - and I'm doing my utmost to not sign up for Netflix because I'd never emerge from the screen ever again! During the week I read prolifically - (well, at least a book or two a week) and I work and have coffee dates and catch an occasional movie with my husband, but I do seem to spend quite a bit of time (more than I realized) on my faithful laptop browsing endlessly.

I pin a ridiculous amount of pretty pictures on my Pinterest Boards - I have no real rhyme or reason for what I pin (all the Pinterest pundits would be rolling their eyes at that confession) - I just have to like it, or find it funny, or pretty, and it's wham, bam, pinned. I also check Facebook regularly and play Words with Friends while I'm there. 

When I'm not online, I suddenly feel marooned and I begin to wonder if I might be missing some really important updates - someone might be getting married, or engaged, or having a baby and I won't know! But (funnily enough) nothing much really happens - and it is actually possible to be 24 hours behind the times and still be relevant. When it comes to Facebook I always think of the meme I saw (on Pinterest of course - and re-pinned of course!) and it sums up my Facebook experience to a tee:


midlife blog ~ cresting the hill

WHAT TO DO?

Although it is beyond frustrating having my internet connection see-sawing all over the place, I've come to realise that my blog and my life will still go on regardless. Everything in life has its seasons and times when it's good and when it's not so good. I'm learning to leap in and enjoy my moments of connectivity, and to walk away and find something else to occupy myself when things drop off. 

When those little Internet Gremlins finish mucking around and they let me back on for an hour or two, I sigh with contentment, answer my half dozen emails and run around like a cut snake trying to catch up on all my reading and commenting before I get sent back into the Dark Ages again and start learning Morse Code. I guess I could always do some housework, or some exercise.....but there's also that 1,000 piece jigsaw that needs finishing - or I could have a nap. Now that sounds like a plan!
There was a little girl, Who had a little curl,

Am I the only person in Internet Hell? Or is the dark wizardry of the Intetnet Gremlins more widespread than I thought?

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Midlife Monday - www.crestingthehill.com.au

37 comments

  1. I've just returned from a few days away at my in-laws' beach house and there is virtually no internet service there at all, so I am currently playing catch ups to all of my blog comments, posts etc!!

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    1. It's such a strange feeling being offline - it's like the world is zooming along and you're left somewhere out in the boonies. I'm hoping mine gets sorted soon or I might start getting serious withdrawal symptoms :)

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  2. I know exactly why you are frustrated as I would be too! I hate slow or non-existent internet connections and I admit it has been most annoying if/when it happens. Right now we are on NBN and its difference to ADSL broadband is negligible . We live in a coastal region of NSW and so far it's OK for access. However, eventually we may need to move and I am as worried about internet access as I am about medical faculties (we are in our late 60s). I rely on connectivity for much of my day..blogging, social media etc. My hub does Uni on-line , so without decent speeds and connection it would be no good. I hope it gets sorted or at least you find out why! Thanks for linking up for #lifethisweek 3/52 Denyse

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    1. We are so dependent on the internet nowadays aren't we Denyse? It gets quite scary when you can't log into anything and there's just white screen or the spinning wheel of death. I'm really hoping things improve because we won't get the NBN til at least the middle of the year and I may go crazy by then!

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  3. This is why, in the same but different way, I never buy airplane Wi-Fi. I like to test myself and see how bad the addiction truly is :-)

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    1. I'm thinking I may have to go to Bloggers Anon or Pinterest Anon or Facebook Anon Carla - addiction is looking me squarely in the eye!

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  4. Love this post! I feel like I'm "seeing" the real you come out in it. I like the poem and that child's curls too. For those that need to be on the internet as far as blogging, social media, school, work, and etc good service is a must. Here in some of the rural areas they experience slow, snail paced internet. Thank goodness I have high speed cable that works great! I do understand your frustration though. Who wants to do housework or exercise if there's a possibility of surfing the web? However, I'd take a break for the puzzle and a nap!

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    1. I hope the "real" me isn't too off-putting Dee. I've never claimed to be sugar and spice and all things nice, and when I'm frustrated it's probably not a pretty sight! Lucky for me I have a couple of good books on hand to see me through this drought :)

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  5. My mom used to recite that poem to me. haha

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    1. Was it because she resembled something you were doing at the time BB? I know I said it to our daughter a time or two as well - usually when she was digging her heels in over something :)

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  6. I'm always impatient with internet moodiness until I realize I could stand to close down and get to work. If I KNOW I won't have internet, I prepare, like I prepare to eat more vegetables after the holidays. It's such a part of everything.

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    1. I'm getting better at finding something else to do Susan - but it's not having the choice that annoys me. I want it to be my decision to walk away - not the random whim of my provider :(

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  7. I hate to say it, but it's almost encouraging to read of your slow Internet connection in the States! I thought it was only we South Africans who struggled in this way. :-) Thanks for this post, and you're right. We're more addicted that we like to admit!

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    1. I'm actually in Australia Shirley - so maybe it's a thing that we in the "colonies" have to deal with?

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  8. Hi -- visiting from "Blogging Grandmothers." I, too, am horrified at how addicted I've become to the internet. And, I am way beyond being a millennial . . . I was 45 years old when I purchased my first "home computer" -- a hulking, big thing. Anyway, I hope your internet gremlins don't hang around for long. It's a good sign that you are able to view the situation with some sense of peace.

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    1. I do wonder how our millenials would cope without their connection for chunks of time every day Mimi. Maybe they'd all start talking more? It might be a good thing - maybe they'd phone their mother?? :)

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  9. I'm going away on Wednesday and I know where we're going there isn't very much internet access. Something that my husband is thrilled about...me I might be panicking a little!

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    1. It's a strange thing to feel so cut off Rena - a lot of the time I don't mind but when you need it and it's not there it's really frustrating. Enjoy that time away though :)

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  10. I don't think you are ready for the 12 step program yet. We recently had a 7 hour power outage during the day. I read nonstop and it was nice and of course once the power returned the book is still not finished! So many diversions!!

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    1. I love that there is so much variety available to us nowadays Haralee - but it certainly spoils us and the annoyance level escalates when any of it is taken away.

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  11. There are days that I want to go back in time when there was no internet of cell phone! I have to work hard at being present now, as the urge to look at my phone -- check my texts and emails is completely out of hand.

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    1. I sometimes wonder what we did with our time Ellen. My 75 year old mother has just gotten her first ipad and she talks about the hours that just slip away while she surfs around looking at stuff.

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  12. I totally get it! I was sick for a bit and then there were the holidays and I was unplugged. It was actually kind of nice. However, as a blogger, I have no choice but to be connected to social media and I will admit it is a bit addictive. I didn't realize how plugged in I was until I unplugged. Great article.

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    1. I completely agree Clearissa - we are way more plugged in than we probably need to be. I just want more say in when my internet is going to work or not. I'm hammering away now because I have a signal - it would be nice to take it more slowly but you do what you have to do. I hope it's fixed soon!

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  13. Funny how dependent we all have become to our electronic gadgets. Checking them all the time. Time to unplug I agree.

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    1. I just want to choose when I unplug Candace - not have the interweb gremlins pick and choose for me - grrrr

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  14. great post. great attitude about going with the flow.

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    1. Thanks so much - sometimes my muttered grumblings are a stark contrast to my more zen moments though!

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  15. I unplugged completely for the best part of a week in November when I hiked the Milford Track. It was so funny listening to all the alerts firing up on the bus as soon as we came back into range.

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    1. You feel like you've dropped off the face of the earth don't you Jo? But the funny thing is, when you're back on line you find you really haven't missed all that much at all. We take our connection way too seriously (although I still miss it!)

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  16. Unplugging is on my list for 2017 to Simplify my life Leanne. Isn't it frustrating without internet and also the power it has over you. Enjoy your time off and as you say it teaches us that life goes on and we have to accept the good with the bad. Hope it is all running smoothly soon. xx

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    1. Unplugging is definitely a lesson I'm learning from this Sue. I'd actually thought about signing up for Netflix, but I'm realising that I don't need to spend even more hours glued to the screen (with headphones on!) I need to find time away from it all and this has been an interesting lesson. I still want it fixed though!

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  17. We also live in the suburbs for the same reason. Our internet service is good with few outages so I find myself unplugging on purpose, periodically. It's needed to ward off internet fatigue. Working from home makes it much too easy to spend excessive amounts of time online. Here's hoping you service will improve, soon. Enjoy the rest of your holidays!

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    1. Our internet is usually the same Debbie - that's why this in and out of contact business is driving me a bit stir crazy. On the other hand, it has taught me some valuable lessons about dependency and learning to have some variety in my day.

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  18. I surf when on a train on on a plane. I surf at home and when I roam. I surf near and far and while a passenger in a car. Addicted to the internet? I am. I am.

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    1. Oh Beth I LOVED your Dr Seuss-ness and it is scary to see how we are so plugged in all the time. I try to keep mine to just surfing at home, but the lure is always there :)

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  19. The internet in my area sucks despite the fact we are on the outskirts of a capital city, and the NBN isn't due to arrive for at least a couple more years. Sigh.

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