In Which She Rants About The Internet

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This post contains a lot of bitching about things I can’t control. You were warned.

So, as I’ve already gushed, something super awesome happened on Wednesday night: Happy Hour Hangout. I’ve already said it about forty billion times, but I’ll say it again: It was awesome. The whole freaking experience rocked. Except for this one little thing…

MY EFFING INTERNET FAILED ME.

FAILED.

DURING THE COOLEST BLOGGING THING I’VE EVER DONE.

Internetdown

See, we live in the sticks. Like, Amish-country sticks. So my internet options are very, very limited (and pretty dang crappy). Oh and because the universe loves to screw with me, living in the sticks means we need the internet even more, because we need it for not-normally-internet-dependent stuff.

Cable TV? Not an option for us, because there are literally no physical cables run to our corner of the world. Get a satellite service, or Netflix/Hulu, or don’t ever watch TV. We have Netflix and Hulu subscriptions so we need internet service if we want to watch TV.

Cell phone service? HA. Good luck with that, because there is zero cell service for at least 15 minutes in any direction from our house. Sometimes, if the stars align, you can get a text message out. Sometimes.  To combat this little problem, Mr. B and I have a network extender from our wireless carrier that provides cell phone service at our house. It’s a neat little device, but it plugs into the internet.

Let’s recap, shall we? I enjoy being connected to the world, plus I’m a blogger, so I like/need/want the internet to be available to me at all times. No internet means no TV. No internet means no cell phone. Also, this is not a problem I ever encountered before I moved to our little town, so such inconveniences can sometimes result in a major hissy fit.

We have DSL through the (only) local phone company. I hate it. I hate them. Let’s just say the service is unreliable and the customer service is…lacking. One time, Mr. B called to inquire about a seriously slow connection, and you know what they told him? It looks like there’s a lot of people in your area using the internet right now, so that slows it down. That’s just how it is. Excuse me? So you are telling me that your little internet-providing-setup can’t handle a normal Sunday evening’s traffic in a sparsely populated area? And I just have to deal with it? AWESOME GUYS. Keep up the good work.

Such a craptastic situation brings out the American consumer in me, so I shopped around for other internet providers. I mean, I’d rather give my money to someone else who can do a better job of providing me with the service I’m paying for. I Googled, asked around, and even picked up a phone book (remember those??) looking for options. Here’s what I learned: I can stick with the stellar service I’m getting with my normal provider or get internet through a satellite dish.

Since I’m all kinds of type-A, I made a pros and cons list for switching to satellite.

  • Cons: it’s slower, crazy expensive, and requires us to also have satellite TV, which is also stupid expensive.
  • Pros: it’s not the DSL from the useless wads at the phone company.

Faced with those facts, we decided to stick with our current internet provider because it’s the lesser of two evils and we need freaking internet because I’m all spoiled like that.

The thing is- we’ve had a pretty good stretch lately. It’s been a while since we’ve had a complete internet failure. It’s not perfect -we can’t use anything else internet when someone is talking on their phone because we live in a world where Hulu and Facebook kill cell service (the wireless service booster hogs a lot of internet, and as we learned earlier, it’s in limited supply ’round these parts)- but we work around it and haven’t had much trouble.

Until, of course, I sat down to video chat with some of the coolest kids in blogland. That’s when the internet told me to suck it. As soon as I pulled up the Google Hangout on my laptop, I got an error that my internet connection was failing. Then I got kicked out of the chat. I was able to rejoin, but it happened repeatedly for the whole first hour. I was able to catch most of the conversation, but this kept me from participating much. Plus, I felt so bad that the other ladies in the Hangout had to keep listening to the stupid ding every single time I disappeared and reemerged – they were all so cool about it, but it had to have been annoying. Sorry, everyone!  

Eventually, I switched to my phone, which wasn’t perfect (I did get booted one more time) but it was a huge improvement. I was even able to participate in the conversation!

Still, the internet situation around these parts really chaps my ass.

I love living in the country – I really do! – but it can be a huge pain in the butt. Especially when I’m trying to make some bloggy friends.

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  • okay, i am so sorry but this made me laugh loudly on the bus. i don’t want to laugh at your pain, but you told this story so well! (plus, i love a good use of the phrase, “chaps my ass”!)

    • Haha I’m glad – it’s all in good fun! (Plus, it’s so much easier to have a sense of humor about it on days that the internet is working properly.)

  • I’m still jealous about your hangout! And I hate paying for internet and cable when they don’t even work half the time!

    • You need to sign up for one! I think Amber ( from Mr. Thomas and Me) still has spots left for December.

  • DSL!? Didn’t that die in the 90s? I don’t even know how you deal with that.

    I feel like this is a perfect time to quote Napoleon Dynamite but I won’t make you suffer any further.

    You have over a month to prepare for December!

    • Ha I know! But around here DSL is the fancy ish. My poor future mother-in-law can’t even get DSL where she lives – it’s satellite or dial-up. So she has dial-up. DIAL-UP. In 2013. Like really – she hops in a time machine and CALLS the internet.

      I’m sure a Napoleon Dynamite quote would pretty much sum up this whole post, so it’s a welcome addition 🙂

      Yes- I’m already weighing my internet-scavenging options!

  • Meg

    My parents have sattelite internet because we also all live out in the sticks. Its pretty speedy. They have hughesnet. It is pricey, but its for my dads business, so the cost is covered that way. They have a bunch of different plans, maybe worth looking into. Also, it doesnt require you to have a dish for tv service, though you can if you want, i guess, but my parents have their TV thru a diff sattelite, so the two aren’t related!

    • I’ll have to look into hughesnet then, thank you! We looked into satellite internet through Dish or DirectTV, I can’t remember which, and that was the plan that required you to have TV.

  • Haha! Girl- this post kills me. I grew up in the middle of nowhere, Ohio (probably pretty similar to middle of nowhere PA). And we had dial up internet…and my parents still would if they didn’t just give up and get an iPad with 3G because they still don’t offer high speed out where my parents live.

    Same thing with cable tv and cell phone service! Although they have finally put more towers in- so I can normally get cell service when I visit, but if you have anything besides Verizon, it won’t work at ALL in the whole county.

    I love the country 🙂

    • Haha I’m glad I’m not alone!

      Verizon is our best option too. Plus, they’ve been telling us for about 2 years now that towers are coming our way- I’m starting to think they are just telling us what we want to hear.

      But despite all of the frustrations, I love the country too 🙂

  • Christina

    I loved reading this post…even though I shouldn’t laugh..i was laughing lol
    I just found your blog! I am now following!
    looking forward to keeping up & reading more!!

    xo
    Christina
    pieceitalltogetherx3.blogspot.com

    • Thanks for stopping by, I’m thrilled you are here!