5 Things I Learned From The Great Internet Outage of 2020
Just about every Mainer and much of the Northeast who has Spectrum cable service experienced an outage on Friday afternoon that lasted well into the evening. While I sat there without service, all I could think of was the old Cinderella song, "You Don't Know You Got (Till It's Gone)."
Now that service has been restored after both of Spectrum's main and backup fiber optic lines were damaged by the storm, I can look back on the experience and find 5 things I learned during the outage.
1. I Couldn't Listen to Cinderella
That song that was going though my head during the outage would have to play only in my head, because I no longer have any CD's, cassettes, records of even 8-track tapes. All my music sits in the cloud or on streaming services. That wasn't the end of the world, because "You Don't Know You Got (Till It's Gone)" had quickly become an earworm anyway.
2. I Couldn't Watch Anything on My TV
The Internet wasn't the only thing affected by the outage. TV service was out too. But I don't have traditional TV service. Mine is streamed through the Internet. All of it. Local channels, broadcast channels, Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime, CBS All Access. It was all gone. Even if I still had my DVDs, I don't have a player, so I was SOL.
3. I Couldn't Read My Comic Books
I have a library of comic books I've bought digitally on Comixology. I read them on my tablet but it has limited space, so when I am done reading a comic book, I delete it. I can read it again anytime I want by downloading it, but....Internet. I need that. A lot.
4. I Couldn't Do My Job
In addition to being on the radio, part of our job is to write articles like this every day. Lucky for us we can do this anywhere, and all of us are so busy doing our shows, that most of us will write at home. There's just that one thing that's really vital to that process. Internet.
5. I Couldn't Turn On My Lights
By the time the sun went down, the Internet still wasn't back on. A set of lights in our living room use smart bulbs so you can turn them on and off or set their brightness remotely from anywhere. Again. Internet. When it's down those smart bulbs suddenly become very dumb. You can turn them on but it took me a while to figure out how.
So what's the takeaway here? Holy s--- we use the Internet for a lot of things! I could keep going with the list of things I couldn't do, but I've wasted enough of your time already.
Thank you Spectrum for getting us back online. I didn't realize how much I missed you. Don't ever leave me again, okay? Love you.