During my ongoing literature review I often discover interesting facts about things I’ve never thought about. Sometimes I can connect these facts with my own observations: The result is mostly a completely new idea why things are as they are. Maybe these ideas are new to you, too. Therefore I’ll share my new science based knowledge with you!
This week: This time, I think about the internet and how important it has become for my life.
A fast access to the internet can be seen as one of the standards these days. I would go even that far and compare it with the standards of being supplied with electricity and fresh water. However, I am experiencing an internet outage for more than a week now (my Internet Service Provider apparently is not really fast in fixing such a problem) and this becomes really problematic as my work requires an access to the internet. Without the internet, I am not able to communicate, to do research, nor to exchange data with others. Especially being not able to receive and to send emails is really problematic as there are several upcoming projects that require some preparations.
Of course, having a constant access to the internet has also some downsides. For instance, I do receive a lot of messages throughout the whole day. On the one hand, this is really important as I rely on this communication. On the other hand, receiving a new message can, depending on the importance of this message, distract me from my current work. However, I am quite skilled in setting my own priorities which helps me to stay focused and to be productive. Moreover, if I really need a break from the 24/7 availability, I just can leave my desk for some hours and spend some time outdoors in order to relax a bit.
Apart from the whole „working on the internet“ aspect, the internet is my main source for information and news. Naturally, I can get some of these information also via other means (e.g. watching TV), but most of my interests are not covered by these other media services. Furthermore, these other media services follow a fixed schedule, whereas I am used to the „information on demand“ service of the internet.
Finally, the internet outage also changed my workflow. Usually, I am multitasking all the time in order to complete several tasks as efficiently as possible. This could be as simple as keeping uploads and downloads running while I am researching some facts on the internet for a project I am currently working on. In most of the cases, my workflow aims at using the maximum performance of my internet connection. Furthermore, I am used to just search for a fact or a solution on the internet when I am getting stuck at some point. Obviously, this approach does not work without the internet. Now, I try to focus on one task and, as soon as I encounter a problem, I have to add it to a to-do list in order to check all the issue at once in one of the rare moments when I visit someone who can provide me with an internet access.
In general, the internet outage made me realize how important the internet has become for my life. Sure, I can live without the internet and it is really relaxing to step away from it for a certain amount of time. However, my current life is dependent on a constant access to the internet and this becomes really obvious in times of an internet outage.