The longest 12 hours

(aka my pitiful internet addiction)

I have soooo many things to do lately that I’ve felt a little overwhelmed.  Yesterday evening on facebook I commented that I needed some more time in the day and that a 28-hour day would be just about right.

A friend of my kids replied tongue in cheek that if one is already sleeping ‘efficiently’, and using time well in other ways, facebook time might be an area to consider redistributing.  Since he spends a fair bit of time on facebook himself, I didn’t take the suggestion seriously, though I did gasp in mock horror at the thought.

Then, 12 short hours later, my internet died.   Gone.  Dead.  Broke.  Caput.

From 9 AM to 9 PM today, I was without internet.  Not so much as an email.  Or a twitter update.  Or a blog post.

I remained relatively calm during the morning.  I had writing to do, after all.  As I wrote I stole frequent glances at the little icon in the corner of my screen that would indicate that my connection with the rest of the world had returned. But I got a fair bit done.

By lunch time I decided that this was no little hiccup.  I called the internet provider.  Got put in a queue.

“You are #8.  Estimated waiting time…..”

I held the phone to my ear while I read the mail and puttered around and talked to kids.  I appreciated the periodic update, “You are now #5….”

Except when I got to #1, it abruptly hung up on me.

Miffed, I called back.

Got the same treatment.  Long wait, then an abrupt hangup at #1.  Nice.

Finally I opted for the ‘leave a message’ option.  Left a polite but slightly whiny message.

Then I checked on the kids.

Thought about the blog post I needed to write.

Checked the computer.

Visited with Eldest.

Thought about the product review I needed to do.

Checked the computer.

Gave a haircut.

Realized I didn’t need internet for some of that writing, but checked the computer again anyway.

Gave another haircut.

Called the internet provider again.  Got hung up on again.

Checked the computer. Finally around 3:30 pm I was getting concerned.  Here it was, the end of the work week and I still hadn’t talked to a human.  What if I had to go all weekend without internet????

For some reason when we are camping, I can go the whole weekend easily, only thinking of the internet if I need to google something.  But here at home with the computer sitting there mocking me…well, I was going a little nutty.

I called the company again, selected voicemail, and left a voice message that might have sounded a teensy bit desperate.  I mentioned going without email since 9 am.  I mentioned getting hung up on.  I said things were getting a little tense around here.   “It’s not perty,” are the words I used, I believe.   At which point one of my 10 year olds stifled a snort of laughter.  I shot him a not-perty look.

The repair man called me back in five minutes.

At that point I put on the (piti)full armor of whining.  I also may have asked him if it was possible to access my email on his account.  I dunno whati was thinking-that he could read me my email over the phone or something?  Which, it turns out, is not possible.  He then informed me that their whole internet service was down all day.  Their company piggy-backs on Qwest’s equipment, it seems.  Something had broken and Qwest was having to fly a replacement part in from Denver.  No estimates available on fix-it time.

At which point I may have reminded the man that Denver is only two hours away flying, and that did not explain why my internet had been down all day.  (Or maybe I had that conversation with one of my children. Now that I think of it, I hope it was one of my kids I said that to, because that may have sounded a tad petulant.)

In any case, by the time the internet dude had gotten me sufficiently pacified, I am sure he decided that my ‘not perty’ assessment was accurate.

I managed to limp through the rest of the afternoon and evening with haircuts, dinner, and a movie.

But at 9 PM when the kids were tucked into bed and I saw that lovely, lovely icon that indicated that the world was at my fingertips once again, I rejoiced greatly.


  1. I have to leave my 2 cents here, because I am on the other end when internet users call in with issues 🙂

    I am very curious to know who your provider is but I understand if you need to protect the guilty parties.

    I had so many long calls at work tonight for silly things that I should’ve been able to help people with but it felt like all of their computers had gone haywire. By 3:30 am (I’m off at 2:45am) my thoart was hoarse and I had forgotten was empathy was.

    But I totally understand what you felt like today because back in the day (4 yrs ago) we had dial up.. Booo.. and if our phone line went down, everything was gone. (and we don’t have cable and no local channels) Good thing my parents instilled the loving of reading in me.

  2. Oh I understand all too well the feelings of isolation of panic when the connection breaks or the computer doesn’t boot up. It’s like I can’t function properly without my internet. Like my dad pointed out to me: “Well, you do keep your brain in that thing!”


  3. Ah yes, I know the feeling! I have a hard time not being distracted by the computer, so on weekdays, I don’t even turn the thing on until I’ve finished school with the kids, cleaned up the kitchen, and gotten dinner started. Sometimes that means it doesn’t come on until sort of late in the day. lol

  4. I chuckled at the Facebook comment. Just like the kids to come up with an “answer.” I went to Arizona for 5 days last week. It was parents’ 50th wedding anniversary. Since I don’t own a laptop, I went sans internet service. It was difficult as we sat in the evenings, each parent held their computers on their laps. I had nothing.

    I could have borrowed a computer, but I steeled myself. I’d decided to see if I could go the entire time without ever checking email. I made it, but wasn’t happy to come home to over 700 emails and a very lonely blog.

  5. I think we’re a pathetic lot when the internet is down. 😉

    OTOH, it is becoming an important tool for life, not just a time waster.

  6. That’s like pure torture! Though it does force you to get other things done. Recently we were offline for 12 hours as well. The cable guy climbed up the pole to update the cable system and didn’t connect it back the right way. So of course that knocked out our internet, TV cable AND phone. Talk about being in the dark ages! I called within 30 minutes of being knocked offline and it took them 12 hours to come back out and fix it.

  7. The internet is SUCH a distraction to me, too!

    Even if I’m trying to write, I click back and forth to my email and other places. I know that I get more done without it. But I know if I didn’t use it at all, I’d waste time in other ways, so for now, it’s my distraction of choice.

  8. it is amazing how much we (even non bloggers like me) are so attached to the internet these days. i can relate!

  9. The Internet has been down at my house since Friday (waiting on a part.) I made it through the weekend okay… but I am now on a first-name basis with all the employees at my local Internet cafe. They know that I am addicted to blogging and email, that I post on 4 different blogs, have 2 kids (one from Ethiopia), and have several papers due for school at the end of this week, as well as the progress of those papers. They also know I prefer “Everything” bagels, turkey sammys, diet soda, and real cream in my coffee.

    I also guess that they are just as anxious for my Internet to be fixed as I am.

  10. I can so totally relate to the internet dependency. My computer is in the living room, visible all day long. And you know that little alert sound the computer plays when an email comes in? I can hear it from any room in the house. Addicted? You bet.

  11. our computer just went down for 3 days!! Stopped on Sunday and I got it back on Wednesday. So no nothing for me at home! I didn’t have totally withdrawals because I had the ability to check emails etc whilst at work, but on the non work days, nothing. Made me realise what I used it for and how much time I spend on it whilst at home. Made me have to rethink some of my time managment as I could better spend it.