Thank you yet again to John Richardson in Australia for some funnies which have proved to be quite topical for me this week: I've realised just how reliant I've become on having a healthy Internet connection over the past few months! I've taken it as much for granted as I have my own health really. Over the past couple of weeks, my upload and download speeds have continually dropped well below one megabyte; for anyone even less techno-savvy than I, trust me that this is bad.
I work quite haphazard hours, sometimes over seven days, and have grown accustomed to catching up on favourite telly programmes, friends' videos and blogs on my trusty laptop while the world beyond my noisy little corner of Brighton sleeps. In recent days, I haven't even been able to update my own blog. (Who applauded? Sarcasm lurks in the devil's smirk!)
My Internet provider seems to have finally worked a little magic on the speeds but has hinted at something dark around my entire 'phone and Internet connection; for me, this feels almost like being diagnosed with an allergy to chocolate. Due to the hours I work, it's been a struggle to actually speak to a helpline technician who was both helpful and technical. A previous,very frazzled late-night call concluded when I was asked if I had unplugged the "computer thingies" and if I knew where the Reset button on the modem was. I admit that I used rather un-Catholic language before heading for the Nutella jar with a dessert spoon.
It did get me thinking about our dependence upon technology in general. I fully appreciate how the postal service works, resulting in many unwelcome bills and the occasional lovely package being delivered by my bouncy postman, right to my front door. I have only a vague idea of how WiFi actually winds up in my front room and then (hopefully) casually wafts around most areas of my home and garden. When this invisible presence is notably absent and my usual information, entertainment and communication systems fail, I'm devastated. Most of us accept and indeed expect the omnipotent nature of the Internet without demanding or needing an explanation of how it all works, although many find the concepts of an essential creator of all things and a redeeming spirit moving through them outdated, incongruous and absurd.
I think we have our own Reset buttons, marked "Faith".
"There Must Be An Angel" The Eurythmics (and one of the kitschiest videos ever made)