The Disconnected…

I am once again chiming in from New York state. In Olean, to be exact. The closest thing to a “burgh” I could find for miles, really. I just paid $3 for a two hour block of internet at McDonald’s, about 8 miles away, to get some work done this weekend.

This is the sort of situation that both frustrates and…grounds..me. When I live in a day and age and job and hobbies that are so fast pace, connected, and…fast paced, I come up here to visit the in laws with the lovely Missfit and get the cord cut. I have a chance to realize that there are people in this world that live much “slower” lives.

This is the thing that frustrates me when I listen to my scores of Podcasts and read tech articles when one wonders who doesn’t have the chance to be online to conduct business, and who really has to use dial up anymore? Well, my dad, for one. His is an area, in Mercer County, Pennsylvania, that hasn’t even been blessed with cable television. And he is just barely getting a DSL signal. And Missy’s parents up here in New York, who can’t afford more than the dial up. These are the people the tech world forgets. For people that fly from city to city, able to “telecommute” with whatever they do to get by and entertain themselves, it feels that the small percentage, yet most densely populated, portions of this world are a quiet gray area for them.

Just this afternoon, we drove the other direction for dinner and had absolutely no cellular service for several miles of road. Not just the spotty dropped signal from time to time. I’m talking none at all.

I’m not complaining, or calling these people out as insensitive. I’m just saying one should always recognize the rest of the world, and that not everyone lives like they do. I came from the “boondocks” and longed to get to the big city and find this sort of life, myself.

And then think that this is how my life used to be as well. It’s just facinating to think that people out here don’t sit in traffic jams, take public transit, or have concerts right around the corner for them to enjoy on a Saturday night. The best they can hope for is a bar…somewhere…or the high school football game…

Or sitting at a rare wifi hotspot like I am tonight…

2 thoughts on “The Disconnected…

  1. Great points, Sorg — a useful dose of perspective. Living and working in Butler, PA, I run into lots of people who still use dialup, and they’re quite happy to keep doing that. And I have friends near here who don’t have cable either — not by choice, but because the economics prevent the cable co. or telephone co. from bringing the service to them.

    It’s important for people like me, designing website and advocating social media, to keep all this in mind. But even knowing it, I forget sometimes. Thanks for the reminder.

    Coincidentally, and off the subject, my brother-in-law hails from Olean, NY. Mike Wayne is his name. He’s a bit older than Missy, but it’s a small town so maybe the name is familiar. Mike’s dad passed away late last year, but Mike is still going up to work with his sister at cleaning up/out the house. Strange coincidence.

  2. I recollect to my days when one saying “hey, lets add video and flash” = me saying “lets eliminate our whole audience”

    Those were the days…

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