Recently I shared that I lost my wedding ring. Thankfully, my husband Ray recently found it when he was sweeping the basement one day. My friends had been praying that I’d find it. I was like the woman who rejoiced with her friends when she found her lost silver coin. (Luke 15:8-10) God taught me many lessons when I lost it, including about my marriage, people who are lost without Christ, and losses in life such as at least 198 Ukrainian people dying from Putin’s invasion of their land.
In light of this horrific news, all else seems trivial. But we all deal with losses, big and small, and they can be stressful.
This past week we lost our WiFi service! Ray tried to call our internet service provider numerous times, but his call kept getting disconnected. He also tried several times to chat with tech help online to no avail. This week another internet service repairman came. Things seem good for now. (Hold our breath!)
I hope you don’t experience this trouble. But here are lessons I learned when we went for over a week without reliable WiFi service.
1. You can live without it. It is hard. Really hard. Definitely inconvenient.
“I only need 3 things in life: food, WiFi, and sleep.” (Anonymous)
What did people do before the net? They lived their normal lives! This reminds me of the movie The Net, starring Sandra Bullock. It’s one of my fave movies along with another movie she co-starred in with Keanu Reeves, Speed. In The Net, she’s laying on the beach in her bikini in Mexico, looking gorgeous as usual, with her laptop. This is extreme!
But I wouldn’t want to live without internet service. I’ve made some of the best friends of my life online. Originally, I got online (on Facebook) to keep up with my grown kids–our three beautiful daughters Heather, Eden, and Leah. Then they got OFF Facebook and Instagram. (Gen Z says Facebook is a boomer’s social network and made for old people. Many teens aren’t on it. In a survey, 81% of teens use Instagram and 73% use TikTok.)
Our teen grandkids are on TikTok, Snapchat and Discord, which I’m not on. I now text our kids and our grandkids (I call them less frequently), and see them whenever we can do lunch or coffee together or I bring them gifts on holidays. (They work full-time and live very busy lives.)
One morning, I did go to Cafe Affogato, the new coffee shop on the square in town, to use the WiFi service and to order a cappucino, with a shot of espresso and a small scoop of butter pecan ice cream to put in my coffee. Delicious!
You can go to Starbucks, a coffee shop, McDonald’s, the library, and other places with internet service if you have to. But this is a temporary solution, not a long-term one. If you do go, it’s polite to buy something to eat and/or drink and to leave a tip at the table when you leave!
2. You can get a lot done without it. Writing a speaking presentation or working on your book or blog, client calls, creating trainings, organizing, decluttering, grocery shopping, gift buying, running errands. You seem to have more hours in your day.
“If my room is clean, it means that my internet is not working.” (Anonymous)
Time’s a-wastin’. We can waste a lot of time online! This is not a practice session, but your one life to live. We want to steward it well to glorify Jesus, so we can hear those precious words from God: “Well-done good and faithful servant.” (Matthew 25:23)
We don’t want to live just a virtual life behind our computer or phone screens. Mark Z’s idea of a “Metaverse” is kind of scary (and creepy!). God made us for face to face, in-person connection, to hug others, talk, smile, laugh, and pray together.
3. We need friends in “real” life.” I confess that I need more friends…or at least, friends who live closer (or vice versa). Most of my friends live in a different (and bigger) city. I live in a very remote, rural area–a small town with a population of 3,891 as of 2022. That’s plenty of people to befriend!
I’m an introvert so being around people for long periods of time drains me. Having alone, quiet time refills my bucket. But we all need human interaction. Maybe I should start with our new neighbor, an elderly lady who moved into the house next door!
“Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labor.” (Ecclesiastes 4:9)
4. The internet can take over your life. I realized when our internet service was down that I need more direction in my life, specifically regarding my business/work.
“If the great internet connects us all…then why are so many of us becomingly increasingly isolated?” (Stephen Richards)
When we didn’t have WiFi for over a week, I felt kind of lost.
“That awkward moment when your internet goes down and you don’t know what to do with your life.” (Anonymous)
It made me realize how much time I really do spend scrolling, liking, and just being a bystander observing (and envying) other successful people, as my own life passes by. As my biz coach Diane says, “Liking (Facebook posts) is not work.” I need to become more productive and fruitful (not just busier), fulfilling my calling from God and using my gifts for His glory.
Maybe these were lessons God needed me to see and learn. I don’t think the internet is satan, as some people believe. It can be used for good or bad.
Through the internet, we as speakers and authors can reach a global audience – an opportunity we might not otherwise have in life. I have obtained several speaking opportunities in other nations through online connections! I’m so thankful to God for that.
The internet is a tool that God is using for His glory right now. But He also doesn’t want it to control and rule our lives, or to ruin them. There is balance.
I wouldn’t want to live “off the grid”–though sometimes that is nice and it’s good to take a break. I’m grateful to be back online and hope we don’t have any more issues.
Have you ever had your internet service down for a long time? How did you cope with it? What did you learn?