Internet Withdrawal Symptoms

Radio tower down, via a car: not goodHappy New Year, everyone! I’ve just arrived back in Toronto after spending the Christmas season out of town with Caralin‘s parents.

You may have noticed that this site has been quiet over the last few days. About six days ago, Wiarton was on the receiving end of some very strong winds that brought-down the 25 year-old radio tower in our backyard (onto one of their cars, see right) and, along with it, our Internet access.

Over the last few days I’ve come to realize just how much I rely on the Internet, every single day.

It’s more than just Twitter and blogging; we rely on the Internet in almost every aspect of our lives now:

  • We’re in the process of buying a car at the moment. The research process ground to a halt without Internet access.
  • I did much of my Christmas shopping online. Without web access, I couldn’t look up any information about those products or return policies.
  • I wanted to share my holiday pictures with my family in England. No Flickr, no photos.
  • When we experienced an urgent situation with a client, I couldn’t log-on to our network to check my files.
  • The family’s web design business was completely hamstrung.

There were plenty more examples of times I thought, almost by default, “oh I’ll just look that up online,” before realizing I couldn’t.

Is this kind of dependence on the Internet a bad thing? A good thing? Is it really dependence or just utility? The Internet hasn’t been around for that long, but it’s had a massive impact. If we needed to, would we quickly adapt to being offline?

What’s your take?

Dave Fleet
EVP Digital at Edelman. Husband and dad of two. Cycling nut; bookworm; videogamer; Britnadian. Opinions are mine, not my employer's.