Internet technology messes with my mind. I wish I didn’t have such a love/hate relationship with it. As well, I wish I’d exercised more curiosity years ago, and learned more about how it works so that I’d be less scared of breaking it.
Whatever happened to my plan for life-long learning when it comes to the internet?
Things I love about internet technology
- The ability to contact friends and colleagues easily and quickly;
- There’s no need to write letters, send them by snail-mail and wait days or weeks for a response Some recipients don’t respond, either way, and that’s OK too;
- Information is available at a few strokes of fingers on keys;
- The potential of technology to improve and do even more amazing tasks;
- Social media, especially Facebook and other peoples’s blogs;
- Enjoying the creativity the internet makes possible;
- Audiences who are available online;
- Working from home.
This brings me to the things I’m not so fond of about internet technology, but I won’t make a list.
Internet technology had an enormous potential to fail. When it fails, it fails spectacularly. Sometimes, it fails through human error. Often, the error is mine. When that happens, I’m really cross that I haven’t made enough effort to keep up what is on offer. Now I fear it may be too late to go back and learn from the beginning, and so I struggle on, getting what I can from what I have.
Sometimes, though, the problem really is with the internet or an internet service provider (ISP) or others along the chain, such as Telstra, responsible for maintenance of ancient copper wires to houses and places of business.
Seduced by advertisements from our internet provider, we upgraded to the National Broadband Network (NBN) a few months ago. It seemed everything was ready. Fibre-to-node connections sat at the street corner close to our house. From there, Telstra copper wires bring the signal to individual homes.
I went looking for clues. Around our suburb, mysterious, above-ground boxes sit at street corners. Who knows what they are for? Perhaps they house the nodes.
Other installations sit below-ground, on footpaths outside every two or three houses. The boxes probably contain the copper wires. A year or so ago, out walking with John, I fell over a cracked lid. While I lay on the ground, I wondered if I’d broken some bones; if I could get up; if it mattered I’d made an idiot of myself.
From that position, I could clearly see inside the below-ground box. On the wall was a notice in red.
‘Caution! Asbestos’ it read.
The National Broadband Network was supposed to happen painlessly. Maybe there is no gain without pain. Our pain has been great. But then, we probably should have waited until any bugs were sorted out before we leaped into the great unknown.
When we complained, our Internet Service Provider told us we needed to be home between certain hours, but nothing seemed to happen. The next message said we needed to be home between the same hours a few days later. Lots of phone calls and a week later, we again the internet. But the speed (in spite of an upgrade in $$$) is negligible.
The system was up; it worked and had been inspected by an NBN technician, who declared the job done.
I checked my neglected blog, looking for eleventy-thousand hits and fifty comments. Sadly, that didn’t happen. There were no statistics. No comments. Some of my plugins had become unplugged. The spam filter disappeared.
‘This has nothing to do with the NBN,’ my internet service provider assured me from a phone somewhere in South Africa.
I tried to fix the problems, but I don’t have the tech-savvy to do that. I’m too timid, too scared I’ll break something important if I do the wrong thing.
For a while I thought I’d abandon my blog. But I do love posting every week, sometimes twice-a-week. Responses from readers have been positive. After a long break and a couple of false starts, I hope my blog is back to stay.
I wondered how to find a reputable technician who could fix my internet technology. After a few days, I contacted a large firm, who directed me to a smaller freelance person they trust.
If you have read this far, it will be courtesy of a wonderful technician who took up my cause. One thing I know. Next time I’m offered an upgrade, I’ll sit and wait. I’ll be patient until all the bugs are sorted out of the technology before I put my hand up.
Am I the only one who has an issue with internet technology? I’d love to hear what you think.