We’ve had a power outage here in central Ohio in the past few days. While sitting in my darkened house with candles trying to light the way, I realized how much I occupy myself with kinda random things. I mean, no tv, no internet, no caller id, no lights, no stereo. And you’re wondering why that’s important?
No TV means no knowledge of when the electricity should come back on. I don’t know how many other people have been affected or where. Same goes for the stereo. My forms of communication get narrowed down to the phone and my voice. My phone I couldn’t charge unless it was in my car and my voice doesn’t carry when you stand directly in front of me.
No internet means that I don’t get any work done. You may say, “But Kaitlin, you can go someplace else for that.” Oh contraire my friend, I spent about 3 hours today driving around trying to find someplace with electrical plugs and a signal that I can tap into. I’d go to a cafe to have the outlets taken up; okay I say, I have two hours left on my battery, I can work until someone gets up or it dies. But then, my browsers won’t load, because there are so many people on the same signal. I can’t stay at the cafe and just sit there. I have to find someplace else.
I’d go to a library only to have it close on me. Wonderful. Okay, I’m just complaining now, but no internet=no work for me. No work=nothing gets done and Nothing gets done=Panic. Er, fear more or less. How am I supposed to communicate to people, now!?
No caller id. Not important, really. I can live without it, but it was more of a surprise that I’m not used to. The phone rings (I do have an electrical phone with a plug-in base and all, but I also have just a phone that plugs directly into the phone line for when the power goes out) and I don’t know who it is who’s calling. I have a habit of answering the phone with a “hello?” The question mark is important there. I do phrase it as a question — even when I already know who it is calling, but now when I actually don’t know who’s calling, the question has actual significance. I really did need to know who it was calling.
No lights. Trust me, writing by candle light is not as easy or romantic as it looks. There’s a reason why we don’t all sit at our desks with a candle and quill pen these days. We don’t have to. And this is where we see how necessity stimulates progress.
I guess I just realized how cut off I became. My primary form of getting news ceased. I couldn’t check out the news on tv, internet, or (theoretically) stereo. My step-father did have a battery powered stereo that I used for a bit, but it took forever for them to bring up any real info that I wanted.
The paper is a nice way to hear what happened yesterday, but it doesn’t tell me a whole lot about what’s gonna happen in the minute by minute way that I’m used to. And uh, well, I don’t buy the paper. I have nothing against print — I just don’t spend the money on it. I’m poor.
So that left my cell phone. I’m not much of a phone person as it is, but calling places to ask if they’re open so I can bum some wi-fi is a terrible way for me to spend my afternoon. I did it though. Necessity made me do it.
So there we have it. An almost total lack of my average forms of communication. And yet, I still found a way to communicate. Now, ain’t that human?