Off the Grid

On Thursday the FCC voted to repeal Net Neutrality, a decision which, if upheld by the courts, could make the internet too expensive or inaccessible to a lot of people. Having grown up in rural Maine, I often think about how my experiences growing up could help me survive should the internet ever become truly inaccessible.

  1. Even though music is now largely streamable online, I never threw out CDs or DVDs and we still have our DVD players. We would need to get cable again to make up for not having access to Netflix or Hulu, but that’s a cost tradeoff we’d be able to do given that internet might not be a thing we could afford at home anymore. So digital entertainment would still be an option.
  2. I’m aware of using music and movies in non-streamable formats. Have a thumb drive or an SD card? Download that shit before you have to pay to download that shit. It’s always good to have a backup anyway, especially if you lose power or internet under regular conditions. Don’t forget about ebooks too. If you bought it, it is available for download.
  3. PICTURES: this is gonna be tough for me. I know it’s saving them to a thumb drive but they are all over the fucking place. Pictures are the one thing I take for granted because my phone just auto saves them to Google Photos and I don’t have to think about it. So getting them all in one place might be a challenge.
  4. BOARD GAMES: I miss playing cards and yahtzee and other stuff like that so hooray if there is a board game renaissance!
  5. Perhaps the most obvious is reading. I read all the time and I would probably read more if I didn’t stare at my Chromebook and phone so much. The cool thing is that I prefer real books to eBooks, so there won’t even be a transition there. I still plan to download and backup the eBooks I do have so I don’t have to pay to login to pay to download them.

I know that this would be a transition, but I am lucky to have been alive before the internet was so pervasive so I am certain that I would be able to return to that kind of lifestyle if it is no longer available to me.

(While this post is mostly about how I might survive changes to the internet, it bears mentioning that changing net neutrality rules affect lower middle class and poor individuals the most. Inability to access research, job searches and applications, email, Facetime/video conferencing/texting/communication apps and other basic services that we take for granted is only going to serve to increase the socio-economic divide that is becoming larger and larger every week and may grow to swallow us all. These changes, when coupled with the recently advanced tax reform, are going to prove disastrous if they come to fruition. Make sure you are taking steps to prevent both from becoming permanent. <3)