Category Archives: technophobe

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