I often read about serious things. I do. I know that theologians refer to the inexplicable nature of God as being The Great Mystery, but the issue of disappearing internet bandwidth ranks right up there in my book! On the 15th we got a text telling us we had used up our allotment of bandwidth. Really? With half a month to go? Had it vaporized into thin air? Our habits are deeply ingrained; we hadn’t changed one iota. Yet suddenly our lives were drastically altered. We contemplated a Stonehendge existence, and I realized three stark options before me:
- We could purchase expensive tokens as a temporary solution. The helpful lady at customer service gifted us two, which disappeared in less than 24 hours. Somehow, that didn’t look like a satisfactory option. How does that even happen?
- We could upgrade our plan and restart another 24-month cycle of enslavement to HughesNet. Ick.
- We could camp out at Panera’s when we wanted to use a laptop. Tasty!
Right now, pencil in hand, I realize how deeply dependent I am. I run my business on the internet. We communicate via email on the internet. I keep recipes on my Pinterest board, which, of course, lives on the internet.
Byte by byte the encroaching and never ending reach of technology poses as a blessing, but its ramifications quickly become a curse when your access disappears or your identity gets hacked. Our information, minute details of our lives get encrypted into invisible strands that stream away, landing who knows where and handled by nefarious rogues, I’m sure. Upon reflection, I realize the periphery of my life revolves around internet availability, but the essence of my heart and mind dwell in another dimension. A solid dimension of hugs and meals and people. The problem is that I spend as many waking hours wrestling with the periphery as I do with what matters most, and see no way of changing that.
I bet you’re wondering how we solved this weighty dilemma. We immediately ruled out #2. In six months we will be free to look at another company lined with fine print, but a different cage may feel more attractive to us. We opted not to change our plan. At roughly $10 a meal at Panera’s, I figured that three days of internet usage equaled the cost of 10 extra tokens. I stopped right there and discarded door #3. Yes, we made someone’s day and bought tokens. Label me #ensaredbytheunseen. This second great mystery plagues me.
For now I sleep comforted, knowing I own 10 tokens of an unknown quantity of internet bandwidth, which means diddly squat in terms I understand. Actually, I didn’t sleep all that well last night. The second great mystery eludes me.