No Phone, No Power, No Internet, No life?

The fuse blew on my power connection today, and in my explanation to my teen as to what was happening, I told her how electricity was not available until the 1930- 40’s… until the introduction of the ‘electric light‘ as her grandma, (who remembers its introduction), calls it.

So Miss Teen says, with a somewhat pained, incredulous look on her face, “So you grew up without electricity!!” And I responded: “No. I was born after the war, dear!!! How old do you think I really am?

So it begged the question: Are we too reliant on energy and the web? Can we survive as they did, years ago, without being connected to the grid, or the internet? Ten years ago, such a question would have been superfluous, but now I am not so sure. My sons certainly act as if their jugular veins have been severed if the internet connection drops out for more than a minute or two!! So, we might consider for a moment,  how really powerless and vulnerable the world is without internet or electricity?

How did we manage all those years ago, my daughter asks, without even a mobile phone to aid our social arrangements?!!!

So I think and tell her that if we went to meet someone and no one turned up, we would:

–          Wait..

–          Give up and go home..

–          Wander off nearby feeling disappointed and confused and come back to check a short while later….

–          Find a pay phone and call them if I knew their number or if the phone book was in-situ. And how long has it been since I saw a phone book in a pay phone box? (Now I feel old)

–          Go to their house and demand an explanation!! (not really)

So we learned to cope, in a fashion, so why do I now find it so hard to go for days without internet access or a a few hours without the “Electric light” ( read: power)

Trying to deny my dependence on modern technology, I say, “Pull yourself together, folks coped years ago, why can’t the modern generation?

So, feeling determined to reject the confining chains of contemporary society, I go headlong into denial mode:

I tell myself, “It is okay, I CAN cope.” Instead of searching the net for that phone number I need, I will just look it up in the phone book …..oh! no! I can’t – the hard copy of our phone book is not only out of date, it is buried in the darkest recesses of the junk cupboard, never to seen alive and kicking again….

Alright, I think, so instead, I will do some travel planning… Nope: I can’t… need to look up ‘Trip advisor’ on the net and find some accommodation venues…

Okay, so I’ll go and research some family history, but I can’t do that either, as I need the net to look up census information and names, in order to cross -check details and dates.

Grr… Forget the net –  I will do some baking. Make a nice meal/dessert… nope…the Oven won’t work without power…..

Make a cup tea? – Nope!

Watch TV? -. Nope!

Read a book? -YES!- unless, of course, it is night-time… after all, who can read by candle light once you past the age of 40?

Do some sewing/embroidery craft hobbies/ paint/fix something/gardening… still need light so … Nope!

Talk to a neighbour…. knock on the door to find she has gone out somewhere or is asleep…..

Only one thing left for my other half and me to do……….


NO wonder they had so many children years ago!!!!


Our reliance on energy and connectivity… Something to ponder about.


16 thoughts on “No Phone, No Power, No Internet, No life?

  1. Really like this nice thoughtful piece….Several years ago I had the wonderful opportunity to live without electricity for six plus months through the winter in the mountains of California. I absolutely loved it and felt lucky to have such the chance. Then, several years later, I gave a class of mine an “assignment:” try to go as long as they could go until the next class (two days later) without using their phones. I didn’t expect anyone to “succeed” in the challenge and the longest someone went was six hours. Most of those who tried lasted three; some didn’t try at all. The primary explanation was the feeling of anxiety–interesting, as the psychological definition of anxiety is fear of the unknown. 🙂


    1. That winter in California sounds almost idyllic, but no doubt it involved a lot of hard work. The internet seems to make us lazy, we don’t have to remember facts, telephone numbers or trivia unless for a specific purpose such as a test, and so, I wonder if this will have an impact long-term. The other issue I see is something you alluded to in your comment, an anxiety and I wonder if this is anxiety stemming from not being able to gratify our desires instantly. Because for me, many of our enquiries and questions can be answered as soon as they come into our heads and we don’t have to think and ponder about them for long at all, thanks to our smartphones and pc’s, unless we do not have a power connection or enough mobile data!!! Thank you for your lovely and interesting comment.


  2. Every now and then I’m forced to go without electricity, and it isn’t fun! My kids love their iPad, but they aren’t reliant on the Internet and electricity the way I am. They’re still young enough to spend hours reliant only on their imaginations. Most adults aren’t so lucky.


    1. It is great that your kids are still young enough to escape the pull of the information technology. Encourage that all you can, for when they become teenagers, suddenly any imaginative game or play becomes super “boring” and they long to interact with friends via technology! I have heard of little ones trying to ‘pinch’ the pages of a book, to try to increase the font, as one does on an ipad or phone!! Crazy, huh? But a poignant symbol of the immersion of technology in our world. Thanks for you comment. It was nice to have you visit.


    1. Yes that is ironic, is it not, Amanda. There are so many wonderful things about the internet and power for that matter, but I do worry about the long term effects of technology. Thank you for your lovely comment.


  3. Eggzackly !! [grin] But Amanda – what the devil is going on that you lost power ??? If it was just the fuse, couldn’t you replace it ?


    1. Turned out it was the toaster, and yes we did replace it. We did experience a power cut recently, which prompted this post, but today it was only a fuse. Still felt like an eternity to the young ones.


  4. Yes, children today know a totally different world. It makes me wonder what it will be like in another 50 years, whether there will be more enormous changes. Even flying in an aeroplane was new and exciting when I was a child. Now it’s taken for granted. Enjoyed your post immensely.


    1. Thank you Barbara. I know what you mean? I do wonder if this addiction to technology that seems to affect us all, means that we will forget how to communicate with one another, in person. Sounds ridiculous, but to tell someone in the 1950’s that we would spend most of our lives looking at a screen in fifty years would have been ridiculous, yet here we are.


  5. During winter here the storms might leave us in darkness for several days. Some years ago when we had about C 10 degrees below zero we had no power for four days. Some of my collegues for 11 days. That was rather tough. The fire had to be on all the time and it still didn’t heat up more than just that room. Houses aren’t built to carry that heat to the entire house anymore.
    I can assure you, that shower and being able to get up in the morning without losing your feet – was unforgettable…


    1. Ann Christine, that sounds dreadful. Do you have a standby generator? No wonder woollen stockings were a popular clothing choice in the old days. I am sure that they also felt cold in times gone by, and that is one reason why immigration to the warmer new worlds, like Australia and New Zealand was so popular!


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