Can I Survive as a Whole Person Without Internet?

“People who have so much of their personality invested in the Internet can’t really survive as whole individuals without it.” ― Mark A. Rayner, The Fridgularity

Oh boy! That quote hits a home run with me. I invest so much time, energy, and money in trying to get a faster internet signal in Nicaragua. I know that I am addicted to the internet, and I may need an intervention. Yet, I wonder if I would be a better person or a different person without the internet. Would my personality change without the internet?

If you have followed my blog, you know I am a geek girl and I am constantly searching for solutions to increase the speed and connectivity to the internet on Ometepe Island. Check out a few of my past posts.

My Woktenna

Confessions of a Geek Girl

Facebook for Expats: Friend or Foe?

IMG_1764The trees in our neighborhood had blocked the direct line of sight to the mainland for our internet signal. We couldn’t top the trees because many of them aren’t on our property and we couldn’t extend our pole tower on the roof of our casita because the cables wires that secure the poles had to extend beyond our roof.

So, our only option was to build a new and taller tower. Five men came from the mainland on Friday to construct our tower. It was fascinating to watch them build our tower, if not somewhat frightening because I have a fear of heights.

IMG_1766They tied themselves in securely and fit each tower piece into the one below by pounding the connecting metal joints. Cement secured strong cable lines in the ground to steady the tower.

IMG_1772They hauled the tower extensions up one at a time and measured each connection.

IMG_1777Two men worked on the new tower, and as they fit the last extension on the tower, the other guy detached the dish from the old tower and dismantled the poles.

IMG_1785Now all that is left to do is to attach the dish at the top and string the internet cable to the house. Look at the height of this tower!

IMG_1789He attached the dish. It makes me kind of queasy to watch him. But, he is roped in securely.

IMG_1804Someone suggested putting a webcam at the top of the tower to stream the view. Since we own the tower, maybe we can rent some space to a cell phone company to get a better cell phone signal in our community. Or, we could have bungee jumping! Ha!

IMG_1808Almost done. They strung the cable to the house and hooked up the new tower. But….but…wait!!! There is no internet! Evenor said they have to change the frequency on the mainland. So….I wait. And wait…and wait.

IMG_1811On Saturday…still no internet. Saturday evening I sent a message to my service provider and he said, “Yes, you have internet now.” But, I didn’t. Troubleshooting in Nicaragua is always an interesting experience. The geekiness in me deduced that it had to be a problem with the router settings.

It took me two days of clicking on every setting and changing the configuration, and late last night…voila!!! I had internet. I still don’t have a clue what I clicked, but my internet is fast…well it is all relative. Fast in Nicaragua is a speed of 5 mbps.

Can I survive as a whole person without the internet? Probably not! My life revolves around troubleshooting, researching, writing my blog, and googling…EVERYTHING! How did I grow up without Google as my constant companion? I think access to the internet enables me to be a better and more knowledgable person. It completes me!

Can you survive as a whole person without the internet? 

15 thoughts on “Can I Survive as a Whole Person Without Internet?

  1. Can we live without internet ? Yes. Would we want to, No! Not having it for a week after the quake was a trial for us, but we wanted our electric back, more so than the internet. It is an outlet for us, especially keeping connected to family and even others here in our small fishing village especially through Facebook. And what would John do if he couldn’t blog? 🙂 A tower here would work out well especially since we don’t have thunder storms with lightening here.

  2. There are many things I can live without, but, please, don’t touch my Internet!

    Now, not to rain on your parade, Debbie, but a few years ago, I asked our ISP guy whether building a tower in the highest corner of our back yard might improve our then sluggishly slow data reception. He dissuaded me, saying such a tower would attract lightning and in the event of a strike, burn out my electronics.

    Since then, various measures have greatly improved our Internet reception.

    Just last week, our friend, “G”, the one with the casita on a high hill, had her antenna and router burn out when lightning struck close by. Fortunately, the ISP crew restored her equipment within a day.

    May your life be free of lightning hits.

    Don Cuevas

    • Thanks for the info, Michael. That was the first question I asked, about the lightning strikes. Our tower builders said it is grounded and if lightning does strike the tower, it will go directly into the ground. But, if lightning strikes the dish, it could travel through the cable wire, right? We are planning to bury the cable and bring it to our house underground. So, meanwhile, the next big storm, we will unplug the cable from the tower coming into the house and we shouldn’t have to worry about it, right? The main electrical line coming to our house is grounded. I will have to ask our tech and electrician guy, Evenor.

  3. Ha! Like you, we’re both twitching and jonesing for our internet fix a few times a day and countless hours are spent wandering around various rabbit holes as well as learning some extraordinary esoteric information for our blogs and just to scratch our curiosity itch. As nomadic travelers the internet helped us research new places, figure out how to get there and where to stay and connected us to friends and family back home. As expats it’s helped us navigate our way through a whole new country while still figuring our next travel destinations, geography and history. And as bloggers, it’s connected us to a whole wealth of info, answered countless questions and introduced us to a vast world of online friends from all over the world. Rev your search engines, Deborah! Anita

    • Anita, how in the world did we survive without internet? The library was my second home with its storeroom of microfilm and old newspapers. I had a set of wellworn encyclopeidas. We joined AAA to get the maps and camping books for every state when we traveled. And remember when we had to go through a travel agent to book flights?
      My nephew works for Google in CA. One thing on my bucket list is to tour Google. Google is my heaven on earth. Lol
      Meanwhile, I will continue to keep my search engine engines reved up, with a little help from my new internet tower. 😜

  4. I can’t live without internet either. It is my connection with my family and many people important to me. It’s a vast source of information, books, movies, and things I think really enrich my life. Internet was right up there on the “must haves” when we chose our next home.

    • Kris, I never thought too much about access to the internet when we moved to Ometepe Island. But, I should have!! It has been 6 years of experimentation trying to receive a reliable signal. Hopefully, our new tower will end my quest.
      Now, the search for strong wi-fi continues when we travel. I’ve been planning our trip to New Zealand, and the first thing I look for is free wi-fi in the places we want to stay. It will be especially important in November because of the US Presidential election. We will be in Auckland during the elections and my Google search for budget accomodations included key words like strong free wi-fi. Lol

  5. The internet changes expatriation in a major way. In the 18th Century, people who moved across a major body of water or from one end of a land mass to another would probably have, at best, occasional and very expensive letters. In the 19th Century, telegraph, trains, and faster ships made letters more common, but still rare. In the 21st Century, I wake up and find out what my FB friends from Japan to the UK have been up to, know some of the little trivial things about friends and family that would have been lost to me even 50 years earlier. We can even see each other on web cams (not that I have my web cam set up). It’s all real life. To get this density of information in the past, I had to live in a major city like New York, San Francisco, or Philadelphia.

    • Rebecca, the internet has certainly changed expatriation. Good points! I think about how difficult it would have been to stay in touch with the rest of the world if we would have moved to Ometepe before internet. (BI…that should be a new date acronym. Lol)
      Thanks for your thoughts.

    • But…but Heidi, how will we stay in touch? Haha.
      I remember when we were back to the landers in the Ozark Mountains in the 80s. We generated our own electricity,ran our frig on propane, and lived in a converted 1952 school bus where we raised our son. I really didn’t know what I was missing and we were happy. But, now that I have explored the world through the internet, I could never go back to the internetless days. 😆

  6. Of course I could survive without the internet. Would I want to/ Of course not. I am a minimal user, though: research, writing my blog, and emails are it. I don’t have a smart phone, don’t text, and don’t do social media. I gave up Facebook years ago. So there you have it. I love the possibilities the internet offers, but honestly? I see it as a tool.

    • Great response! Yes, the internet is a tool, and there are times that I wish I wasn’t so addicted to Facebook. I take breaks once in a while, but never longer than a week.
      Our little park in Moyogalpa now has free wi-fi. It touched me to see all the families and teenagers on their smart phones at the park yesterday because they could never afford to buy an internet plan at their houses, and now they have access to the world for free.
      I think I am going to go to the park someday and interview the people with their smart phones to see how free internet access has changed their lives.

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