Are necessities really necessities?

Published 9:00 pm Tuesday, October 14, 2008

It’s amazing to think what life was like without all of the “necessities” we have in our life. If you go back far enough, these necessities were just conveniences.

But now, it seems like you need to have not only electricity and water but also cell phones and especially Internet. You might wonder why I am writing about that. Well, that’s because we had to deal with losing our Internet connection yesterday.

In a world of 24-hour news and having a Web site that is being updated constantly, losing our Internet connection is devastating. The only way we could check our site was through a dial-up connection. Yep, that’s right, a dial-up connection.

I haven’t been on a dial-up connection in a long time. A 56k dial-up connection 10 years ago was lightning speed. Now, that’s terrible compared to having 2-, 3- and even 6-MB or higher lines that we have today.

Not only could we not access our Web site yesterday for most of the day, we also lost our ability to respond to e-mails. So, if you tried to send us one yesterday, then understand why we didn’t get back to you.

Losing Internet isn’t the worst thing in the world. We could have actually lost power here in the office. That would have been much worse only because we would have had to go to one of our sister papers to create our next edition.

The closest I can remember being without all of these “necessities” was during the 1993 blizzard when we got 13 inches of snow. We lost electricity and phones for several days. We were fortunate to still have a gas furnace that heated our home.

That was actually one of the most fun times in my life, getting outside and playing in the snow during the day while living by candlelight at night.

I’ve heard stories from my grandparents and their brothers and sisters about how they used to live before getting electricity and city water. It always sounded like they preferred those days to today’s living. That might have been because our lives were so much simpler.

We didn’t have to get an immediate answer from someone. We had the time to wait several days on a response through the mail. Now, it doesn’t even seem like we have the time to reply to an e-mail.