My Internet Went Down (and how I Survived)

Today when I woke up, I asked my Alexa speaker to play my morning playlist and all I got was a glowing red circle at the top of the device. I grabbed my phone to check and sure enough, my internet was down! I immediately started to panic. I started thinking about all the things I couldn’t do: no streaming music, no access to my online library of movies and music, no Netflix. Oh wow. Not for the first time, I wished I had unlimited data on my cellphone.

I have never been so excited to go to work in my life. While work frowns upon us messing around on the internet all day long, they don’t mind if we stream music – good for me, I know. So I loaded up my Spotify account and put in my headphones. I called my internet provider on my lunch break and they confirmed that my neighborhood’s internet was still down, and that they’d be fixing it as soon as possible. I felt a little better knowing that my neighbors were suffering right along with me. The lack of an eta on the internet being back up, on the other hand, was concerning.

When I got home, I realized that the crews had so far been unsuccessful and I still had no internet. I found myself thinking of those people who called 911 when Facebook went down a few years ago. I forget how many things I own are connected to the internet. For example, I’ve got a Nest thermostat, so I actually had to go to the thermostat to adjust it. Normally I can either tell Alexa to do it or use the app on my phone. A minor annoyance, sure, but definitely not what I usually do. Another example is dinner – I usually stream music while I make dinner, and that wasn’t going to happen. It was too quiet, so first decided that I was going to put the tv on. But my cable was out, too. Then I remembered that I had some music downloaded to my phone, so I played that instead. It wasn’t very loud, but at least it was something.

While I’m eating dinner, I usually watch something, but the cable was still out. So I had to get creative again. I had a movie downloaded on my laptop, but the app wouldn’t open without an internet connection – how does that make sense? I probably took about a half hour of yelling at my computer until I remembered there were other options. I had a couple of old blu-ray disks from back before they started releasing the digital films first, so I put one of those in. That was probably the seventieth time I found myself wishing I had an unlimited data plan for my phone.

I decided to go to bed early because there was pretty much nothing to do after I cleaned up for dinner and prepped for tomorrow. I went to set my phone alarm and I realized that the little wi-fi lines were back. Hooray!