We get used to modern amenities and wonder what it would be like to get along without them. These days modern amenities have to include Internet. I recently spent a week and a half without Internet at home, and it was harder in some ways than getting along without electricity.
Or was it?
Years ago, when I was a pre-teen, my father and I and some family friends spent a weekend in a cabin on the Grand Mesa, in Western Colorado. The cabin had no electricity or running water. We had lanterns and flashlights, and there was a lake nearby that had plenty of clean fresh water. For cooking and heat there was a wood stove, and the night got pretty cold. The stove and warm blankets kept us warm for sleeping. Of course, there was an outdoor toilet. It was like being a pioneer.
It was fun in a way, but I was glad to get back to our house with all the “normal” utilities like electricity, running water and heat. I guess even back then modern amenities were a pretty good thing. That was the late 1940s and this is the twentyfirst century.
Most of my years in Colorado we didn’t have television, and when it arrived it was more a novelty than a necessity. Internet was different. Suddenly we had a brand-new way to communicate.
In the early years of the Internet we could get along with a dial-up connection, but our bandwidth needs soon outgrew it. We ended up with wireless Internet, using an outside antenna.
A few weeks ago, an overnight storm wrecked our wireless Internet system. The mast that held the antenna was bent and we lost our signal. We ended up getting an all new cable connection and we are now back online.
I now appreciate how much we have come to rely on Internet. I use it for news (the Pleasanton Express is available online), social media and e-mail. What makes modern amenities a big deal is convenience. Telephones (I remember party lines), television, and basic necessities such as running water, heat and electricity we absolutely depend on them.
Being denied them for a while helps us appreciate them more. I occasionally borrowed a connection for necessary communications, but that was inconvenient. Our Internet is back and I hope we don’t lose it again.
WARREN DOMKE is a columnist for the Pleasanton Express.