03 Sep

Living Without the Internet

Posted by Jenna, Under Personal

This onesie fit him for like one day, and then I couldn’t get his head through anymore. I love my bowling ball noggin baby.

I’m curious, do any of you not have the internet at home? Do you know anyone that doesn’t have it?

How do you function? How do you print out maps, find places to eat, figure out the phone number of places you want to call, answer emails, write on your blog (oh wait, there are people who don’t have blogs… crazy!), pay your bills, keep in touch with your friends?

Okay a few of those are obviously possible without the internet, but I’ve gotta say, I am pretty miserable without my constant connection. Spoiled upper class American mentality?* Maybe, but I suspect most of you couldn’t function without it either. Especially since you have to have the internet to read this here post that I”m typing up this very moment. Tonight I was in the conference center of our building and the internet stopped working. I knew it wasn’t just me because I looked around and noticed that everyone else had the same windows box up on their screen indicating that the connection was lost. My eyes teared up and I knew that I only had a few minutes before the dam burst and I embarrassed myself.

I packed up my stuff and headed back upstairs, Jenna Cole photos standing at the ready to be uploaded into this post, and took deep breaths during the elevator ride. TH came out and asked me why I was home early and I’m not exaggerating when I saw that I burst into tears. Sheesh, how over-dramatic can you get, right?  I think I must be riding a menstrual cycle induced hormonal roller coaster because I knew while I was crying that I was being ridiculous but I couldn’t stop. I miss my blogging, I have over 100 emails in my inbox that need to be answered, I have clients waiting to see their photos and hear back from me. I start telling myself that my blog will die, I won’t be able to start advertising, Jenna Cole will fail, because everyone will hate me do to slow response times and constant excuses about not having an internet connection, overall I’m just an emotional mess.

We were able to get things sorted out temporarily (obviously since I’m typing this post) but I’m really looking forward to the day when a fast and reliable connection is mine once again. I might be a bit more productive without it, but if I’m that much more stressed is it really worth it? I’m going to go with no.

30 Comments


  1. When I first moved here I had no internet for six months. I thought I was going to lose my mind, but then I got used to it. My blog really suffered though, and it took forever to get back into it after I had the internet again! Also, I really hated not being able to just look something up. I’d have to plan ahead and do it at the library or my mom’s house.

    Hopefully you’ll have regular internet again soon! At least it’s not six months!

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  2. It’s probably totally different and much more of a “necessity” if you’re trying to run a business on the web. I was internet-less for 5 weeks in China…I almost cried tears of joy when I finally got onto a computer with free internet at a Hard Rock Cafe in Hong Kong, haha!

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  3. It is HARD. We have gotten so used to it that we take it for granted, and when it’s down? Wow, reality check.

    Not to worry Jenna, people will wait for you – it’s out of your control & you’re doing well to even get this far without your own connection! :)

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  4. Oh Jenna, I know the feeling. We were without internet for a week when we first moved and I didn’t even know what to do with myself – it was horrible!

    No one will decide to just stop reading your blog and booking you, though. You’re too awesome for that. :-)

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  5. My very first job after college I was underpaid and in an area with very high cost of living. So internet didn’t make the cut in my budget. I lived a five minute walk from my office that did have it, so I could check email there on the weekend if I had to. I found other things to fill the gap for the time I was spending on the internet. I read books and knitted and worked out a ton, and still got to bed early every night. I could probably go without it again, especially in the age of smart phones. My husband would never go for that though.

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  6. I sort of don’t have internet. We don’t have an internet line at home, but both my husband and I have internet on our phones with 3G signal. The phones have ability to hook up to a computer and use the internet off the phone. It’s nice but slow, so you can’t watch any videos online and pages load very slowly.

    Most of my interneting happens at work during lunchtime. I browse my blogs, post my blog, etc.

    I’ve been internetless for the past three years and somehow cope. At times, if I really need good internet access, I make the trip to the public library (they have free wireless).

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  7. Awww Jenna! That sucks! If it makes you feel any better, I get that same panicky feeling when our Internet goes out. When you have clients who depend on you – and communicating with them or delivering your product/service to them occurs primarily online – it’s very frustrating and nerve-wracking to lose your connection.

    I can’t remember when you guys are getting internet, but I hope the days between now and then go quickly! Hang in there!

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  8. At my last job, I had a co-worker who had no internet access at home and I wondered how she did it. She always had to go into the office if she wanted to do any weekend work, etc. Obviously as a blogger, I am a little internet obsessed, but I also use to for real things like managing a bank account, researching major buys and trips, etc. I guess we’ve gotten too dependent on it as a society? I am sure our parents functioned fine without it albeit maybe a little less efficiently? :) Several years ago, I did not have internet access for quite some time, and I vowed never to do it again. I’d cut the cable TV first before the internet.

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  9. I have a friend who doesn’t have the Internet at home. She doesn’t ever shop online, or check her bank statements, or anything. Watches the news on TV, writes checks to pay bills, and shops out of catalogs. It’s such a *different* life. When it comes to not having the Internet, I’m just like you. I’d cry too.

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  10. I do not have internet at home and I should add that I live in suburbia and cannot mooch off neighbors. Hubby and I are living on a tight budget and internet does not fit into that budget. Instead, I load up into my car and drive to McDonalds (near the house) or the elementary school (free wifi but limited ie no EBAY…:-(…

    I also use it at work. This just limits the amt of time I have on there so I do less goofing off…i.e. no looking up weird videos on you tube to laugh.

    Do not get me wrong in that I do want internet one day, but today it is more important that Hubby and I live within our budget.

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  11. My husband and I are in the process of deciding if we want to have internet in our house anymore. I know – crazy, right?
    We have internet at the office, though (during the hours of 9-5 for the most part), and we live LITERALLY 5 minutes by foot from the office.
    To test our will, we’ve begun to use the internet less and less after work and on the weekends ( which is probably why I haven’t blogged in months… ). So – I haven’t really communicated with my online friends much recently, but on the positive side, my husband and I spend so much wonderful face time together. We read, we play music, we nap in the sun, we cook together, and we talk a lot.
    We’ll have to decide sooner or later how our relationship with the internet is going to evolve…

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  12. 3 posts in 1 day!!! Ahhh glorious! Haha. Your blog won’t die. Obviously there people, like me, that just love it too much, who revel in 3 posts so close together, to let it die.

    So many things that I could resonate with!! Namely the crying, knowing the reason you’re crying, understanding the lunacy of crying for such-and-such a reason, yet still crying!! :-D This is pretty routine for me….my poor husband.

    We have internet at home….slow internet on a slow desk top…a remnant of our college days when EVERYONE had a desk top. Because I am connected at work, I try to get everything done while there. Once I get home, it’s very rare that I sign on. I’ve learned to live without it at home. But for me it’s a personal choice. I never log on during the weekends either.

    But if I seriously think about it….I’m able to unplug at home, b/c I’m always online at work. If I were to quit my job, or work someplace where internet was protected, I may just go insane. :-) I still pay all my bills manually though. I think eventually we’ll move to online bill pay. It just wasn’t an option before with our archaic machines and internet connection.

    Hang in there dear! Everything will be put to rights soon.

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  13. It’s hard but try and think of it as a time to take a little mental vacation! We were without TV and Internet for about a week lately and we had to, like, talk to each other a lot, and I read a book! HA!

    One weekend when I had to finish a major work project our Internet was out. I had to stand by the window and pray every time I needed to go on-line (pirating off someone else’s signal). It was ridiculous!!

    Your blog will survive, you have many, many fans!!

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  14. I think it’s a good way to get unhooked a bit and spend quality time with your husband and son.
    I find Internet so addictive, I have very little will power when it comes to it, I love blogging and reading blogs and sometimes I wish I could take my head away from it but it’s hard. I lived for a year in the middle of nowhere with no job (no work permit for that) and had to deal with dial up. I couldn’t walk to a city or library or anything, we were litteraly in the middle of the woods, one miles away from the road. So while I did have dial up, I feel you, it’s not fun, especially when you make so many connections online.

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  15. Use your phone for the critical – but take a few days to enjoy it. We go on camping trips where there is NO cell phone reception – let alone power/water/internet. The first day is always weird as we reach for our phones, want to check our facebooks etc.. but by day 2 or 3 we are so relaxed and reconnected to each other that when we head back to civilization – we check our email for critical things, and then put it away – not caring about facebook etc. It stays that way for about a week before we are back to being internet junkies! :)

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  16. I do a lot of my surfing while I’m at work during lunch breaks or other little breaks throughout the day. I barely touch my computer at home!

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  17. Oh no hunny :( It’s ok, you’re blog wont’ die! I think you’ll be shocked at how quickly it gets back to normal once you’re posting regularly again.

    I wouldn’t be able to live without internet! I can go without my computer for a weekend, but I’ve still got my iPhone!

    I don’t think it’s about being spoiled either. Your hobbies, creative outlet, friends and livelihood all require internet access. It’s not superficial!

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  18. I heard this on NPR about two weeks ago, and I found it very interesting. It’s talking about how the average person consumes about 3 times as much info daily than in 1960, and the long term psychological stress of being “plugged in” all the time-

    http://news.wvpubcast.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=129384107&ps=cprs

    I’ve been without internet this entire time in Chicago, having to use the business center as well. But I’ve found that because I don’t want to sit in the business center all day, I get things done that I need to get done- like e-mail/research for my internships- so much faster, and I’m more selective with my “fun” free time on the internet. I’ve read twice as much as a I usually do (books), even with being on vacation and having lots to do during the day/evenings. As others have said, I’m trying to enjoy the “vacation” from the ‘net and look at it as a good tech break. When we go camping, we’ll often go a day or two with no phone service even, and definitely all weekend without internet.

    But, all that being said, your work is intimately tied to the internet more than mine. You have a blog, you have a photography business, so I can imagine it would be very stressful to not have internet! Don’t worry about losing readers, we’ll be here :)

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  19. I didn’t have internet when my husband and I first got married. We were pretty broke, so internet/cable was no in the budget. we were both able to check our email/facebook/etc at work.

    It helped that we lived in a small in-land northwest town though…we didn’t need the internet to find places to eat, there was no where new in town to find a map too, and we might have actually used the phone book if needed. :)

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  20. Alyssa (from Othello) says:

    I just moved to Georgia for grad school and was without the internet for a month…a MONTH! It was at the same time my iPhone quit on me (still don’t have a new one), and I was LOST in this new city all the time! I couldn’t do anything! So I started going to the grocery store a block from my apartment to use the internet at their little cafe because they’re open 24 hours…needless to say, the night security guard became very good friends! :) I understand, though, because it was miserable, and even not having an iPhone makes getting around really hard for me. I don’t know WHAT I did before I had one! Hang in there…your blog and Jenna Cole won’t die while you do. :)

    Jenna Reply:

    Alyssa! It’s so fun to see your name pop up on my blog.

    I really think I would go crazy if I didn’t have it for a month. Really I would!

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  21. A few years ago, when we moved to a new place, we decided not to get the internet connection for a month or so, see how it goes. I love my internet, hubs does too! Well, we ended up going for 6 months without it! I have no idea how we did it, but we were motivated to go just one more month and one more… We really did have fun without it around :) We spent so much time just having good old fun together, watched movies without at the same time checking stuff on the net, went for lots of walks after work, suddenly there was so much free time that we had :) But it was hard at times too… Like you say, no way to check your email unless you go somewhere outside of your comfy house, no way to check ph#, update the blog, etc etc… An internet break was good for us though, although I don’t know if I’d want to do it again… ;)
    Fingers crossed your internet connection at home gets installed soon!

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  22. Laura Elizabeth says:

    I HATE not having the internet!! It is one of the worst things EVER to me!! I’m sorry it was such an ordeal for you to get our pictures up, but we LOVE them!!!

    And I’m so sad that you were crying about it!! :(

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  23. I need to be connected. I totally get it. On another note, I didn’t realize that you were going to be in Italy. It’s like you planned the same trip lol! I am so excited for you. You are going to have an amazing time!

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  24. ugh. we haven’t had internet at home since March 2009. We did away with our smartphones (BBs) last year because of my concerns with radiation. I don’t work in an office and my husband doesn’t have access to the internet at his place. no internet!

    friends have gotten upset about the lag time between emails (I get “are you mad at me?!?!” a lot). it can be tough but I like not having internet (or t.v.) at home.. just gives me time to keep the house clean, cook all meals, tend to errands, and read many many books. also re: looking things up, maps, etc… since I don’t have a phone w/ internet, I text google (46653, I think) and it works perfectly. otherwise, I just do without :). Good luck!

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  25. we stayed with my MIL for 6 days while our floors were being refinished and i spent tooo much time at starbucks! and my blackberry got quite a workout. but i had to think ahead about paying bills and such, and when we were preparing to take a trip, couldn’t update podcasts on the ipods, it was frustrating. we as a culture certainly have become accustomed to constant internet access.

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  26. I went an entire week without the internet. At first it drove me crazy but it was actually nice to spend that time doing other things. That period of time has really curbed my internet time.

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  27. I thought you had an iPhone… no data plan? I remember when we first moved here our landlord let us “steal” internet until we could get ours hooked up. He said it was fine if we just used his… but we needed more bandwidth than his cable was providing, plus we only got 1 or 2 bars in our house, a few hundred feet away from his.

    Working has really freed me of my internet addiction. It’s all I can do to check my e-mail and calender before I head out the door in the morning, and then I’m pooped when I get home!

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  28. Hey Jenna – Hang in there – you can do it! When we had our single family house build in 2008, the builders forgot to have the utility companies lay the internet cables. To spend that kind of money on a new home in 2008 and not have any internet. Verizon declined to put in DSL since Fios was the new technology. The cable company pointed at the developer, what a mess. After 9 months, yes I said NINE, we finally got FIOS. I would call utility companies offering my money to the first company that would show up on my street. I was desperate! I realized during that time I couldn’t remember how to use a phone book. It was miserable. I was fortunate to have Internet at work and you are lucky to have a place in the apartment complex, even though it is inconvenient. Oh wait, I must be fair, we did buy dial up for emergencies. The kind that you had 30 minutes to look up the info on.

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  29. I don’t have internet at home… I also don’t have a cell phone that has internet access because the service is so shoddy where I live. How do I survive? Well, it was much easier when I had a job where I could be online all day. My blog was happily updated, my bills were always paid ahead of time, and I was a function member of the online world. Now… not so much. I’m taking graduate classes where I have to post online 3 times weekly. It’s tough. I’m lucky to live close to my parents and my boyfriend’s parents, so I frequently use their wireless. I also frequently visit the only public wi-fi in a 12 mile radius of my house. It’s at a place called Billy Bob’s Pizza. As much as I wish that was a joke, it isn’t.

    It’s tough, but I survive. Would I trade my 3 acres in the country for internet? Sometimes. But when I look out my back door and see fawns and does grazing, it’s kind of worth it. I definitely wish I could update my blog daily and read all of my other favorite bloggers, though!

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      I'm a farm-raised almost-crunchy stroller-pushing picture-taking lifestyle-blog-writing gastronomy-obsessed divine-seeking thrift-store-combing cheese-inhaling pavement-pounding laughter-sprinkling lover of individuality and taking chances.
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