Internet Break

My internet is not always 100% either in the UK or on Crete. Sometimes is slows down so that loading circle appears in the middle of watching something and sometimes it disconnects completely. I suppose it might be due to a hundred million Americans waking up and checking their phones, or a mouse ate a wire somewhere or the sun decided to thwack a burst of radiation in our general direction. It can be irritating but, generally, never lasts for long.

On Crete since I’ve been here the internet dropping out was becoming more and more noticeable then, last week, it shut off completely. I expected it to come back on sometime later, as always, and so filled in time reading some Greek. It didn’t come back on and when I stepped outside my neighbour asked me if I had internet. No. And that seemed to be the case for the whole village.

I learned that the provider was having technical problems. Okay, whatever – my problem was not getting the service I was paying for. Various people in the village phoned up the provider to complain. I got on with other things: learning Greek, writing and reading books. When the internet fired up again, rather than check my emails, my first thought was to buy and download some more books. Good thing I did because the thing went off again. I went to the shop where I signed up for the internet and complained. They were sales of course and I needed to phone a certain number to find out what was going on. It was the same number others had been calling and being told it’ll be fixed in two hours. Now it turns out this ‘technical issue’ requires some equipment to be shipped from Athens.

You’d think I’d be angry. I was initially but that soon faded. Now with over a week having passed since the internet first dropped out I’m glad. It has been a real eye-opener for me just how mentally disruptive is the constant flood of information at the touch of a screen. It fills the mind up with incomplete equations, hundreds of images, fragments and blobs of information and the angry shouting of the mob. Without that option there I can think more clearly, enjoy books more and generally feel a lot calmer. I’ve even been contemplating the idea of doing without that flood and using the internet maybe once a week at a café in Sitia.

But I know that once all those lights are lit up on the modem I’ll be back to scrolling, sucking up fragments and getting annoyed at things over which I have no influence at all.
However, I have been becoming less and less inclined to use the information drug. I think this has a lot to do with a general boredom with social media – I’ve become jaded with it. I make sure to get 200 words down before I even look. I tend to read and post articles and watch informative videos rather than scroll now. And I definitely don’t bother arguing with strangers online. This brief outage has pushed me further in the direction of away – away from the madding crowd.

One thought on “Internet Break

  1. Good post. It is a question I struggle with while struggling with mind-numbing tendrils extending an eavesdropping on far away events as if party to them. Does the good stuff outweigh the bad? At what cost?

    Perhaps it is similar to the Spatterjay virus to the extent we acquiesce unwittingly to the horror of the desensitisation of horror?

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