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Internet Dependence

If you added some lyrics about computers and the internet, then this song, written about 40 years ago, would still be relevant. Of course, you would have to change the title and chorus to bring it up to date.

My DSL modem died yesterday. May he (or she) rest in peace. It was a good, loyal modem that lived a long and productive life. It saw me through my transition from limited internet user to blogging, facebooking, and downloading machine. By freeing me from the pains of the dial-up experience, it made it possible for me to revel in the joys of the World Wide Web.

Since my internet service only works with certain types of modems, I had some difficulty locating a proper replacement at any local stores. So I went to my parents’ house, where they were still blessed with a functioning cable modem, and found the proper device at Amazon. Unfortunately, it will take a couple of days to arrive.

At times like these, I realize just how internet dependent I have become. For one thing, I cannot do my job properly without web access. All of my correspondence with students, along with any administrative tasks that I have to perform, happens online. And that is just the start. The internet has also become my most common medium for performing economic tasks. I can’t remember what the inside of a bank looks like, and weeks often seem to pass between my use of any physical checks. Having never been much of a shopper, the experience today of entering a physical store is an incredible ordeal. The internet has become my shopping mall. I cannot escape the irony of buying my new modem online, and I can’t remember the last time that I bought a music CD. (I seem to remember something called a record store.)

So as I languish in my modemless existence, I feel like I have been cut off from civilization. It also makes my wish that I had joined the “Iphone” generation. Of course, you don’t have to feel too sorry for me. I still have that early 2000’s technological relic called a laptop, so I can always find my way to “Starbucks” or some other WiFi hub to get my fix.

I guess it’s official. I have now reached a point where given a choice of one of three services – television, phone, or internet – I would go with the web. It’s both fascinating and a little sad to think of how quickly this technology has gone from luxury to necessity. I love the technology, but I am disturbed by my state of dependence. It takes so little, after all, to completely disrupt my life. It was bad enough when a flat tire, power outage, or clogged toilet could completely ruin my day. God help me if I ever have some real problems.

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