By Icoy San Pedro

THE internet is down. Again. Not only that. It always happens when there is work to be done, like deadlines for me, Skype meetings for the mum, and school projects for my uni little big man. Murphy’s Law in full swing. Through the years, I have learned to take this enduring irritation with a grain of salt. Little rages which consist mainly of berating the guys at repair service, and giving hell to the innocent tele-marketers when they come a-calling. Nothing serious really, all over-acting, and then the painful surrender and silent acceptance. To add to my troubles, the phone service conks out, and a trip to the local store for a 5-peso per call to PLDT becomes necessary. 

As I leave the house, one thing instantly becomes clear. Nope, with the demise of the net, the world did not end today. The street is still teeming with homies. Tricycle drivers still ply their routes, neighbors clean their yards, and small kids run about with their dogs. The world is still here. Without me. This realization becomes instantly appeasing somewhat. With a tinge of shame, I head back home as it dawns on me that I have become hooked on that four-letter word and it controls me completely. Surely Wi-Fi must be the work of the devil, as some doomsayers proclaim.

Can anybody still remember how things were simpler many years ago? For those with internet at home, what were the simplest pleasures you had during your pre-net times? Have you read a good book lately? As for me, I can’t even remember the title of the last book I read. My guitar sits on its stand in the sala and I can’t even recall when I last played it. I’ve always planned to go get some exercise but it’s always put on hold. All because I’ve got to go online first. And once I do, it eats up all my time.

The latest news, sports updates and every other thing, from the most trivial to the most relevant information, all  laid out before you. Want to know how your bottom dollar fares to the peso, or how heavy is your 70 kilos when you use pounds? Google baby. The flowers need watering but I’m watching YouTube. I can’t even finish this piece without first checking my Facebook. 

Now some of you may not admit it, but this net affliction is undeniably rampant wherever you look. It’s so common to see passengers in both public and private vehicles with all eyes down on their phones. Shockingly, some drivers are guilty too. Peer inside a restaurant and you see clients waiting for their orders, with phones out, and even children happily gaming in their tabs. This has become the new norm and while ageists plainly dismiss this observation as an old-man thing, I wonder what new disturbing development awaits them when they’ve become older too.

And so back to this no-net day. With all house chores out of the way, my guitar is happy and the flowers are singing. 

Source: Mindanao Times (