I live in a small town. Mostly, I love it. Knowing people, having our own space, our lovely neighbors. But there are drawbacks. We’re 30 minutes from downtown, 45 from family. We have only one small grocery store. Even Target is 20 minutes away.
But the worst part, the single worst part about living in the country? The internet situation. I’m not kidding when I say that we have literally no internet. Okay, maybe I’m exaggerating a little bit. We do have some internet options where I live. We have dial up. That requires paying for a home phone, a landline, which is expensive. And of course dial up internet isn’t fast by any means. Another option is satellite internet. It’s not any better, because it’s also extremely slow and extremely expensive.
That leaves us with two actual option. Using our phones are only internet connection is one option (with or without a MyFi card, which is… you guessed it… slow and expensive), and the other option is the library access. Both my husband and I have day jobs that do not allow us to access the internet from our workplace. In the evenings, what I want to write or blog or look something up or send an email, anything that takes a lot of computing power, or involves both hands for typing, I like to go somewhere that I can use my laptop. But again because of our distance we’re about a half an hour from the nearest internet cafe, I’m stuck going to the library.
Our library internet access sometimes is worse than having no access. That sounds hyperbolic, but it really isn’t. When I connect my phone to the WiFi at the library. It’s harder to connect my phone to the WiFi and send an email or check Facebook that it is to just check email or Facebook over my phone data package. Doing research for a book is nearly impossible at the library and a single email can take 20 minutes to send. The benefit to working in the library is that my “writer Google history” is left there, so nobody has to see my laptop and wonder why I’m researching floor plans and nanotechnology weapons and surviving hypothermia and wonder what I’m planning.
I am a technological hostage in a digital age. I’m not sure what the solution is, but in the meantime, I’m searching for a connection.