Someone from Windstream called me and they want to come out and look at the problem. I’m all for it but I’m not going to skip out on work for them to give me a four hour window of possible service so we agreed to meet Wednesday. I have mixed emotions about all of this because I think I can live without them but if I could get internet worth paying for I would. So we’re going to see what they can do Wednesday and if they can get me they promised it will be a done deal. If they cannot it will be equally as done.
I find myself losing my emotional connection to Facebook after just three days of sporadic use. When I can access the net there’s already a million things I want to do and with a limited amount of time there is just so little left over for trying to find out what someone ate for lunch today. I am also losing touch with people in Dog Rescue and that’s a bad thing. Social Media was born to serve those who serve the lives of dogs and other pets. I miss reading about those people who rescue to the point of being a borderline hoarding suspect. (You know who you are!)
I use to get about fifty notifications every morning in my inbox from people commenting on things I had liked or commented on and that’s down to less than a dozen in the last three days. The closest analogy I can think of for this is a man who counts his empty beer bottles and after slacking off realizes that he really was drinking too much.
There’s a couple of people I haven’t interacted with in three days and I miss reading those people. Of all the practical uses of the internet and social media, one of the fringe benefits is being able to interact with people from foreign countries like, England, Russia, and California. The Russians I have met have all been very fascinating people who are living in very interesting times in that country. If I had to comment on my English speaking friends in Canada I would tell you they are a thoughtful and kind group of people, but I could quite easily be speaking of the Russians who I suspect need Google to translate some of what I write as I need that service to speak to them. Yet I find the Russians a people very much worth the effort of trying to understand. I think we should all try harder to understand people in places very unlike where we live.
It’s an imperfect tool, Google Translate and I remember the first translation site I ever saw, Babel Fish, which was really imperfect, but it would get you into the ball park. GT does it a little better and I like to follow threads on FB where the Russians are talking about something or nothing. The alphabet is something called Cyrillic and so there’s no trying to piece together the words at all from experience with English. But there are some words in Cyrillic and therefore Russian I’m beginning to see reappear or reoccur and that’s a start.
Whatever else you can say about the internet the fact that it gives ordinary people access to how other ordinary people’s lives in astounding. I know people in nearly every state in America, quite a few in English speaking places, and a half dozen or so in places where English is a second language, at best. The idea that I can watch a home video filmed in California or Ohio or Moscow is an amazing thing if you think about it. I can see photos of people in their homes with their pets and kids, and I even know a lot of children and pets by their names. These kids are going to grow up knowing they have access to other people everywhere. That is truly amazing.
The idea of knowing people, reading about their lives, discovering that there are many different ways to live, is breathtaking. But we also now have the ways and means to listen to music made by people we might not have ever heard of before were it not for the net. We get to read fiction written by people we would have never discovered. We get to experience art in a medium that wasn’t even dreamed of twenty-five years ago. The human experience is now global in a way that ought to make us stop with wonder.
When we aren’t look at photos of cats with terrible English captions.
In my life I have had two dreams where I was at the very dawn of writing becoming a widespread medium. The first dream I was sitting next to a man who, despite the grave misgivings of other men he respected and maybe even revered, had planned to teach writing to as many people as he could. The next dream I was the person chosen to teach writing to others while it was still in its infancy. The thrill of expressing ideas to other human beings without those people even being able to see the person doing the thinking was truly incredible. I just wish I would have been able to invent the sarcasm font while I was at it.
So here’s the thing and there is really no getting around it; the internet rocks. At the same time, as we spread ourselves out into the ether we manage to ignore the here and now. We spend so much time at the keyboard interacting with people in faraway places our next door neighbors become invisible strangers.
I think having limited access to the net might be the best thing that has happened to me in a while. If they can’t or won’t give me what I want, I might just sit it out and try to figure out what I did with my time before some cute farmer’s daughter in Nebraska enthralled me with her stories about chopping ice so the cows could drink water in the dead of winter.
But you have to admit, after seeing photos of that, it’s hard to go back to being fascinated by what’s happening here.