Last week in my home, I had an internet outage. Presumably somehow related to contractors putting in fibre broadband in the nearby streets. It was a good test of dependency on the internet controlling how we can be productive.
Fortunately, reflecting time & planning time are different from online-research time & trend-monitoring time. Waiting for digital service restoration is simply an opportunity for more thinking and reflection time. A chance to review previously downloaded files that are stored locally, not in the Cloud. To improve the online filing system on my laptop i.e. spring cleaning.
Instead of taking reassurance from online sources, I had to look within. Fortunately, I don’t yet have a self-employment business heavily reliant on internet connectivity. Note to self – today is a lesson in making such a business more flexible. And even if such a business was internet dependant, I can still drive to a nearby town and use their café wifi, to keep such a business operating.
Spotify might be inaccessible. But the iTunes library on my nano lets the music play on. TV, radio and the mobile phone network are unaffected too. I can cook on electric or gas cooking devices. Getting some lunchtime exercise and taking a hot shower afterwards are options too. I may not be able to do any internet banking. But I can always visit an ATM for cash and review my account balance.
The outage reminded me that Plan B’s have to be scalable. People need to remain productive and contribute. Whether it’s just a local outage, or a wider one. Like in a romantic relationship, if the other party steps away for a bit, your life needs to go on regardless.
In the age of the machine, people need to be bigger than digital. And keep an identity outside of digital too.