Winter’s Cruel Grip (On My Data Connection)


It was a chilly March day, not unlike any other early spring day I’ve come to expect from Calgary.

The fire alarm in our condo building goes off.

Now, let’s put this into perspective – it wasn’t all that long ago that we went a good week straight with the fire alarm waking us from our slumber and urging us to evacuate the building (which really only resulted in an even more fire-hazardous congregation of residents huddled in the main floor lobby), only to be reassured by our valiant fire department that we could sleepily saunter back into bed. Instead of relief, this only left us wondering why we even bother heeding these perpetually false alarms.

Long story short, this time around there actually was a reason for the alarm, and it left us without power for almost 48 hours.

If there’s one takeaway from the whole ordeal, it’s the appreciation for the battery life of your devices (or lack thereof), as well as the connectivity to the outside world that those devices offer. It’s different when you intentionally unplug; this offers an opportunity to embrace the world around you and be free from the bind of the unlimited data use of your HSPA+ network. It’s on your own terms, at your will, and you know that it’s still there if you really need it. One situation when I would not recommend being disconnected (willfully or otherwise) is when you are relying on that connection to ensure you don’t end up homeless in the next 45 days. That kind of situation leads you to extreme measures such as sitting in your running car in a locked-in parkade with your phone plugged into the lighter outlet because it’s at 0% battery and won’t turn on otherwise. Or you end up walking to a hotel two blocks away and sit in their lobby to use their free internet while you charge your laptop. If the people on the other end of the emails that were exchanged while those events were taking place had any knowledge of such… well, I don’t even want to go there.

The point is, we have come to rely on technology to not only be convenient time-wasters and distractions, but also very functional and important elements of our day-to-day lives. This past week alone, there have been countless instances of my technological connectivity allowing me to accomplish things in a manner so timely and conveniently, that I can’t imagine getting those same things done without it; but that’s a discussion for another day.

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