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Lack of connection leads to complications

Editorial

 


My wife was about to leave me this week, illustrating a startling fact of modern life.

She wasn’t leaving because it was over between us. No, we have a strong marriage. But a different kind of problem was about to take her away for as long as it took.

For as long as it took for someone to fix our connection to the Internet.

Since last Friday, our home connection had been down. It was restored Tuesday night after multiple contacts with people at several levels of CenturyLink. I’m still not sure what caused the outage (which happened to some other carrier’s fiber), and I don’t think they are either.

No matter, the more startling piece of this is how debilitating not having a direct connection to the hive mind can be.

Much of our work at The Star occurs “in the cloud,” with stories written and stored online and accessible and editable from anywhere. And I often update or otherwise engage our audience on Twitter and on our Facebook page, several times a week, often from the couch or anywhere else around the house on the weekend.

Perhaps more surprising, though, is my wife’s handicap during the outage. She’s a school teacher who uses the Internet for research and has a considerable online presence with thousands of followers in a vast, worldwide network. From Coulee Dam.

So until service was restored last night, she had planned to visit her son in another town. She was missing two book studies, a class on Minecraft (a computer game popular with kids that she would like to be able to use in teaching), and she was missing out on her temporary job as a worker in a “clmooc.” That’s a “massive online collaboration about connected learning.”

This connected world may or may not be making life easier. But these past few days have shown that the lack of that connection most certainly does not.

Scott Hunter,

editor and publisher

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