The frustrations of unreliable internet

I was impatiently waiting for responses from my students. I assumed that at least a few of them would reply to my emails answering their questions and providing feedback on their first major assignment. Being on Prezi, a site that apparently allows me to edit my presentations without being connected, and having my computer on mute kept me from noticing, for a long time, that the internet service had crashed, again.

In a digital age where the internet is somewhat of an umbilical cord for digital natives and immigrants alike, it is unacceptable that the internet goes out as often as a few times a day, especially in a college town. My frustrations with my internet provider has been growing as losing internet inhibits me from completing homework assignments for my own classes as well as preparing lesson plans for the class that I teach.

This experience makes me wonder, in a world where we expect people to be connected at all times, is “sorry my Internet was down” an acceptable excuse for anyone? If it is not, is it fair to give unreliable internet providers a monopoly over an area? I am sitting here, in front of my computer, reminiscing the few late-night phone calls I have made to the company in the past few years and the absurdity of the conversations make me laugh.

I wonder, does this happen because we are in a relatively rural area? How would people in NYC or Northern Virginia respond if this should happen to them? Am I exaggerating when I say that I feel like my world stops spinning once the internet shuts off? Am I an ingrate and a brat for feeling this way? I am trying to think of simpler time where I couldn’t get on the web whenever I needed to and I can’t, probably because that memory does not exist.

I am eager to see whether this experience is something that I will cherish as a piece of history that others will fantasize about in a few years or whether it is  a nuisance that I will never have to think about in the future.

In moments like this, I am beyond grateful that my phone has the capability of connecting me to the web, which leads me to the epiphany of why it is desirable for phones to have big screens.