SURFS UP – A life without wifi

Ok, so the #internet didn’t exist when we were growing up, but I remember it being introduced in my mid to late teens and it blew my mind…(Abz’ mind was already pretty much blown by then but it probably blew it some more..)

At that time, being so new, there was no where near the vast amount of information or entertainment #online because people hadn’t added it yet. But still, using messenger to instant message ‘friends’ all over the world was thrilling…(Those were the days when getting a high score in #snake was the epitome of cool.)

As the years passed the internet, and it’s popularity, grew rapidly. And with the introduction of social media sites like #Myspace, #Facebook and more recently #Twitter people began to live their social lives increasingly online.

Now don’t get me wrong, #email has fantastic advantages in #sharing information and #socialmedia is a great promotional tool not to mention a cheap and easy way of staying in touch with friends and family. I just worry that it might be making us a bit lazy in the real world.

At our last house we had infinity broadband (superfast wifi) and it dominated our lives. I’d completely forgotten how to entertain myself without the ‘World Wide Web’ (that’s what it stands for) and once logged on I found myself stuck like a fly in it’s technolgical web, wasting hours on twitter and watching YouTube videos of baby goats wearing pyjamas. (Which is actually very cute)

So like any good addict I called BT the minute we had our move date, keen to ensure a seamless transition of service to our new rural property. But despite calling weeks in advance, our rural location had a ‘shortage of engineers in our area’ and meant we were in for a bit of a wait…

The day after we moved in it also became clear that there was no mobile service anywhere on our property. The first place we got a weak signal was half a mile down the pot hole riddled entrance track. And once there, our phones would begin to vibrate and beep into life! We soon realised that the picturesque fir-tree covered mountains all around us that we loved so much were acting as a sort of frequency blanket and blocking all chance of us getting a signal of anything. And it wasn’t just wifi or phone service, we couldn’t even get a tv reception!

So 1 week into our new life our wifi engineer had still not shown up and we were starting to get cabin fever. And when he finally arrived a WEEK later the news was not good.

“you’ve got no chance of getting broadband here love…haha…not even dial up! He chuckled as he informed me in a thick welsh accent…”You’re just too far from the exchange.” I’m not a violent person, but for just a second I wanted to slap him.

We hadn’t planned for this, what would this mean for our work and social life? I wasn’t even sure what i was afraid of, but i was. I was flipping terrified.

And then a strange thing happened. Once we weren’t waiting for wifi to be installed we started living our lives normally for the first time in years. I rediscovered my passion for reading, all those gardening and self sufficiency books I’d bought a year ago and never gotten round to reading were coming in handy now i wasn’t distracted, and I was finishing one every few days. Abz & I were playing boardgames like scrabble and talking. And I noticed almost immediately that I was getting so much more done around the house and farm without the constant distraction of texts, emails and tweets pulling our focus into the oh so sticky world wide web..

The quiet became nice, soothing even.

And ok, I’ll admit there are challenges to living without wifi, there were times when we needed to google something like “how to remove a tick” or “ how to grow pineapples”. But if it’s something really urgent we call someone with wifi.

As the weeks and months passed we slowly discovered more spots in our area where we could get a wifi signal and a nearby mountain with 4 bars 3G became the go to site for our ‘mobile office’, the car. Obviously we still have work and social things we need to do that require ‘logging on’. Which means sitting in a chilly car up the mountain for hours on end every few days. But still, it is nice to keep the house a wifi free zone…

So were one year into this experiment now, and on the whole we’ve gotten on really well without wifi, which has come as a genuine suprise to us both.

So when the option of satellite wifi came up we pondered whether – if we had a spare £500 – would we have it installed? And we’d never say never, but for now were enjoying the clarity, productivity and peace that come with a life without wifi.

How do you feel about wifi, and the dominance it has in your life? Could you live with out it? Please feel free to comment below & we’ll do our best to respond 🙂

Happy New year!!!

Vicky Fallon

10 thoughts on “SURFS UP – A life without wifi

  1. Hi Vicki and Abz, well when I was young there where no mobile phones, xbox, playstaions or any of the other faff that keeps children amused nowadays, we had to make our own fun, would’nt have dreamt of asking for money unless id earned it but guess what ? we survived. I feel people don’t communicate properly and community spirit is long gone. Technology has it’s uses but it also has its disadvantages. I d love to switch off the tele and internet but Im out voted unfortunately. Keep up the good work.
    HAPPY NEW YEAR AND HOPE 2016 IS A GOOD ONE FOR YOU BOTH

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Wifi and Internet is one of the best inventions ever, and one of the worst. I’m in my 40s and as a local (local to you) as a child I have hopped, skipped and jumped, played in the river, fished, climbed trees, made dens, looked for insects, played with my dogs and went on adventures (mostly imaginary). I have tried to recreate this environment with my three children who think I’m crazy. It is so sad that their lives, literally, revolve around their mobile phone and “life is such a struggle” if the phone charger is not to hand (they almost come out in a cold sweat!) We had a power cut three weeks ago (first storm hit) and this was our opportunity to sit and talk and my children were thought to play charades!!!! In short and in my opinion, World Wide Web has been a life changer for those over 40 who has experienced teenage life with our internet, wifi and mobile phones. It has sopped the majority of those under 40 from living, experiencing conversation without the distraction on technology, exploring and discovering their environment (this is done on the Internet and not by stepping into the garden, park, forest etc). Life is so short, I wish my children would stop living theirs through their technology screen.
    Best of luck on the farm, I know how hard the Carmarthenshire and Cardiganshire countryside can be to start up a home. You are doing yourselves proud and showing others it can be done.
    Love the program and the BBC is crazy to not film more.
    Happy and prosperous new year
    Marlene

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Hi Marlene, thanks for commenting. It’s nice to know we’re not the only ones who have felt the intrusion of the technological age…It saddens me that so many children today spend so much time on games & phones. What is it doing to their imagination & creativity? There’s an app for everything these days, but no technology can replace the deep & intimate bond that comes from spending quality time together, talking, laughing and making memories. Perhaps you could introduce a technology curfew? No wifi Friday? Just a thought x Vicky

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      1. My kids are 16, 14 and 12, I love wifi free Friday’s but coping with stroppy teenagers…. groan. I put parent restriction on our internet and have just found out that there is an app that over rules this! I will give Wifi free Friday a go. Thanks

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  3. “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us, we were all going direct to Heaven, we were all going direct the other way – in short, the period was so far like the present period, that some of its noisiest authorities insisted on its being received, for good or for evil, in the superlative degree of comparison only.” Charles Dickens.
    Old Charlie must have known about the internet, it is the best of times, but it also has it’s darkside.
    If we had no internet, we would have to actually go to the shops to buy the stuff we wanted, omg we would have to talk to someone face to face  If we wanted to gain knowledge we would have to read a book, yes read the whole book. The internet is a fantastic thing, you keep in touch with people via social media, you learn so much from others via you tube. This is what annoys me about mobile phones and the web, as we sat around the table last night of the 12 people sat with us 6 were on their phones texting or on facebook watching videos of their friends drunken antics, they almost had to be surgically removed from them to have a game or two. It is true our lives have been enriched by the web, and we would now find in difficult to live without it, as much as it would be without a car or electricity.
    Our lives are so much wrapped up in It, I think we are stuck with it. But the web can’t plant seeds or grow food for us, it won’t fix that leaking roof or take the dogs for a walk, we have to doing these ourselves.
    Vicky and Abz we wish you a prosperous and a happy new year, and can’t wait for more from you.
    Mark

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Hi Vicky & Abz
    While it is possible to survive without wifi I think I would want it if I were doing what you guys are doing (although as you say, you can call a friend with wifi if you really need it). We have a cottage garden and we garden organically. When it comes to things like pruning fruit trees, it’s really helpful to watch videos of people doing it. Somehow it is clearer than reading it in books (for me). What’s really useful is looking at websites in the USA and Germany, etc, to see how they do things (I find their small holding practices can be more advanced than the uk). BUT if you’re both happier without wifi then maybe don’t bother about the satellite – you can always get one if you change your mind in the future!

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    1. That’s true, we’ve struggled with learning new skills this year without google to turn to. A lot of times we’re had to learn through trial and error, and of course we’ve made mistakes. But it’s all part of the learning process I guess boy have we enjoyed it! x

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  5. I often would love to turn the wifi off and send the kids out to play as we did , but the big wild world has change its not safe for kids to play out side . I have days I turn all my notifications off and use my phone as a phone . The whole meaning of communication has changed to me , no 1 *talks no more * I miss that

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