Internet Dependency Entertaining


by Derrick Rogers

You’d think the world as we know it was coming to a swift end, or that Y2K came 10 years late. Fortunately nothing that cataclysmic was happening. However, you wouldn’t know that if all you read was Facebook and Twitter updates from Simpson College students and professors last Monday.

Come to find out, Simpson’s server crashed and the network was down which affected the school’s Internet connection and prevented almost everyone on campus from accessing their email, StormFront or Scholar.

This created problems for students trying to do assignments online, but from what I saw that wasn’t what was the source of the most agitation. The inability to check sites like Facebook or visit YouTube was slowly driving everyone insane.

The frustration of some of the guys I live with as they repeatedly and furiously clicked on the refresh button made me laugh, but it also made me think about our society’s dependency on the Internet.

Everybody has Facebook. We check it constantly and it is how we know what are friends are doing, where they are going, and who they are dating. But we can’t seem to pry ourselves away from it long enough to have any face-to-face conversations with our friends.

The running joke is that you aren’t real friends with someone unless you are Facebook friends and relationships aren’t official until they are Facebook official.

“Facebook creeping” is now one of our national pastimes (don’t act like you don’t do it) and it connects our lives like never before, be it for better or worse.

Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy Facebook-ing as much as the next person, but it has grown into a habit that many take for granted, so when we can’t get on it people loose their minds.

So maybe you aren’t a Facebook junkie, but we are all reliant on email. Look at the amount of emails we get each day.

Email is the surest way of communication short of talking on the telephone, and more often than not we take it for granted that it will always be there. When it isn’t people feel completely cut off from the world.

The loss of Scholar access was the strangest thing to panic about.

All be it frustrating, it shouldn’t have brought the school’s homework system to a seemingly screeching halt. Obviously if the students can’t do their assignments online, the professors can’t grade the assignments online.

I don’t think it was the inability for students to get assignments submitted or quizzes taken, but more a further lack of communication ability.

We are living in the age of instantaneous, worldwide communication, and when that connection is severed we feel like we’ve been thrown back into the Dark Ages.

It may be sad but it’s the truth. In many ways our lives are anchored online, and when that anchor gets dropped life comes to a complete stop.

I encourage you to take the time to put away the mouse and live life away from the screen.

If you are reading this story online, shut off your computer and find something to do that doesn’t involve the web. Go outside, read a book, exercise, have a REAL conversation with someone.

If you are reading the actual paper, congratulations on not being attached to the Internet by the umbilical cord.