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My Wifi and I

By George Ames

11 September 2015
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I love my wifi, she’s there for me through thick and thin. My wifi is a great listener. My wifi has the patience of a saint. My wifi can be relied on to look after our daughter, especially when the unexpected occurs. I can’t imagine living a day without my wifi.

And that day has arrived. Here at Forster HQ we’ve just experienced a technological meltdown.*&^*^%%$$$£$.

The wifi is nowhere to be found and our lives just aren’t the same. Yeah sure, there is potential to mess around with a few random bits of technology to bring a temporary smile to our faces, but it’s nothing more than that. Pretend as we may, it’s the wifi we all need.

‘But I’ve got a friend called Crow who lives in a commune in the West Country and survives off the land’, I hear you say. Good on Crow. We probably all envy them a little. However, no length of time in the sweat lodge or sharing permaculture tips can help us now. We have no connection, dammit!

When did this happen? When did we become so goddam reliant on data to go about our business? It may or may not be a surprise that access to wifi is now on list of deprivation indicators. Increasingly access to public services require going online, so people need the opportunity and the skills and knowledge to do so. Technological inequality is now just another form of social inequality. Here in our office, it has been a minor annoyance. For some communities and initiatives, it’s a major and increasingly important factor in social exclusion.

Like it or not we don’t just take technology for granted but positively rely on lightning fast communications to listen, respond and coordinate with the world beyond the front door. News changes by the minute, clients and media are based far further than shouting distance away and the telephone can only help us so much. Don’t anyone dare mention the word ‘fax’. WHERE IS OUR DATA!

And breathe.

Perspective.

The sky hasn’t fallen down and no long term damage has been done. Irksome inconvenience is a big step from sufferance. As far as I can tell looking around the room nobody is actually affected more than a few stretched deadlines and having to tend to some frayed nerves. The general management team need to lie down and take a few deep breaths, but they’ll pull through.

Whilst we moan about missing out on the latest buzzfeed about cats wearing beards or appeasing the journalist who is taking the silence personally, thought should be given to those whose lives would be transformed by having fast access to freedom of speech, micro-finance, life-saving information, plotting a safe course and accessing medicine.