March 1, 2012


The other day, our internet connection went down. This was annoying on several levels the first of which was the fact that I was trying to work from home. Instead, I found myself hastily shaving, showering, and putting on a suit that was a far cry from the ripped jeans and Foo Fighters t-shirt I'd been wearing. The second was that it the gravity of the situation became increasingly clear. Especially after we found out that it was going to be twelve hours until the problem was fixed. I guess what struck me the most was how dependent we've become. Take, for instance, the internet-connected devices we have around the house that get used daily:

- Wii
- Roku (streaming video)
- Kindle
- Beth's iPhone
- My iPhone
- iPad
- Beth's laptop
- My MacBook
- My work laptop
- The crappy laptop we use as a file-server

Two questions popped into mind.

1) How did we deal 10 years ago?
2) How extreme are we compared with the rest of the world?

So I ask you - how many internet connected devices do you have and use?

Posted by Chris at March 1, 2012 6:59 AM

MacBook Pro, iPhone, Kindle.

That doesn't sound like much... but it feels like everything when it's not working...

Posted by: Deeleea at March 1, 2012 7:34 AM

2 IPhones
home Mac
OFFICE Desktop (which is in ALL CAPS because I always freak out when the internet messes up on it - usually when I have to upload payroll).
I don't feel too disconnected when it blips because of course IPhones have external internet and I pay $25/month for external internet on the IPad.
But when the office internet blips - watch out!
I don't know how we dealt with hit 10 years ago - 15 years - 20 years - 25 years (for me...)

Posted by: NancyB at March 1, 2012 7:55 AM

2 desktops - one for photo's one for movie stuff
3 laptops
1 ipad
1 boxee -tv streaming
1 iphone
1 android phone
1 xbox
1 wii
2 adults 1 6yr old

Posted by: Josh at March 1, 2012 7:57 AM

2 Android phones.
4 desktop computers, 1 old crappy laptop, 1 work laptop on occasion.

Posted by: COD at March 1, 2012 8:49 AM

2 laptops, my Nook, and a Windows phone. I could get by without internet access, but if it was down more than a day, I'd be hurting.

Posted by: J at March 1, 2012 9:58 AM

I have the "normal" amount of items but that's what has always scared me about the world becoming dependent on a working internet connection. What if it were to go down--world-wide--for a long period of time? What havoc would result? It's something to think about.

Posted by: bacioni at March 1, 2012 9:58 AM

We have many devices that can connect to the Internet but we don't rely on any of them except my work computer. But really, that's my job.

The thing that I find interesting is that my smart phone has actually reduced my dependency on my home internet connection. It's a computer now and has a 3G connection to a Sprint tower somewhere nearby. High speed internet is mostly a nicety in our house but not a requirement.

Posted by: Brad at March 1, 2012 10:42 AM

We have:

3 home computers that are on all the time (plus a few that still work, but don't get much use)
my work laptop (I work from home about 3/4 of the time)
2 Xboxes
2 internet streaming radios
2 iPads

Our smartphones and my Kindle have 3G, so they work in a pinch. And the hotspot on my phone is ok to use for a few things, but it's not robust enough for me to be productive at work or to stream video.

We rely so much on the internet connection it's hard to go without. Just a couple of weeks ago, we had an issue and it appeared that the internet connection wasn't working (turned out to be an issue on our end). From the time I got up in the morning (no internet radio in the bathroom while I showered) to having to get dressed and go into the office, to coming home and having no streaming video, it was a very stressful day.

In 2002, I didn't work from home, but I was playing online video games an awful lot and I would have dearly missed the internet connection. (In fact, I kept a dial-up AOL account for a long time for emergency internet when the cable modem broke down.)

I recognize that we're pretty extreme, but it's what we choose to do and we've become accustomed to connectivity.

Posted by: SarraJK at March 1, 2012 12:02 PM

I feel like a luddite typing this - but I'm ok with that.

We have the normal amount of items hooked up to the internet. Phones, Wii, laptops, a computer . . .

But one weekend a month - from Friday night through Monday night - we unplug. Besides a few annoyances (gasp! We had to call the movie theater to find out what time the show we wanted to see was playing! And I wanted to make a recipe and instead of just going on line, I had to look in one of our 30 some cook books!) we really don't care.

I could go offline for several weeks at a time, on a personal level, and not miss it one bit. In fact, every time we disconnect, after the first few hours of anxiety passes, I realize "oh yeah. It's a luxury. Not a necessity!" and I'm a much calmer person - more connected to the people around me.

Posted by: Mindy at March 1, 2012 12:38 PM

The real question is, why are you using a laptop as a file server? I assume the answer is "because I hate my data and can't wait for it to disappear."


Posted by: Aaron at March 1, 2012 1:51 PM

Um, OK:

Droid phone (NOT mine)
iPhone 4s
iPhone 4
2 iPod Touches
2 Kindle Fires
1 Mac Mini
2 MacBook Pros
1 Dell POS laptop
1 Custom server setup
Wii for Hulu
2 Apple TVs

I think that's it, but I may have missed something. If we lost internet, probably everyone in my house but me would go batshit crazy. My husband especially. When we lose internet, which I can't ever remember doing, I guess we just do things the way we did them 20 years ago. Read, run errands, visit friends.

Posted by: Brooke at March 1, 2012 2:13 PM

both of our macbookpros, both of our iphones, netflix through the tv and i am wholeheartedly addicted.

Posted by: kati at March 1, 2012 4:16 PM

2 iPhones
1 iPad
1 blackberry
1 Mac Mini
1 Dell laptop
1 HP laptop
1 MacBook
1 Playstation 3
1 TiVo
1 Kindle Fire
2 Airport Expresses connected to speakers for streaming music throughout the house (use an Airport router)
1 Time Capsule

2 adults

Posted by: Lisa at March 1, 2012 4:37 PM

2 iPhones
3 iPod Touches
1 iPad
2 iMacs
3 Macbook Pros
1 wii
The Television

2 adults and 3 kids

Posted by: Rex at March 1, 2012 9:31 PM

3 iPads, 2 iPods, 1 Notebook, 1 Laptop, 1 Macbook, 2 desktop PC's, 5 TV's, 1 Blackberry, 2 iPhones

4 adults

Posted by: Aurelia at March 2, 2012 5:28 AM

My computer (which is a laptop). I need internet for work and go batshit when it's down (which admittedly happens very rarely). I like internet for "leisure" use, but could easily live without it.
Other than that, I guess the TV kind of depends on the internet, but I could DEFINITELY live without that as I basically never watch anything. Even my Disney-channel-obsessed daughters would be OK without internet after the initial shock.
I CAN connect to the internet with my mobile phone, but never, never do.
So basically just my laptop.
I'm a Luddite, clearly.

Posted by: Kirsty at March 2, 2012 12:27 PM

Let's see:

Mac Air
Mac Mini
Apple TV
Blue Ray player

Not counting my iPhone because it can connect w/o the wifi.

Also, according to the itemized lists above, your readership is almost overwhelmingly a Mac crowd.

Posted by: Foggy Dew at March 5, 2012 3:02 PM

Oh dear. I feel like I'm standing up for the first time at a Internet-Anon meeting...

(deep breath)

3 DVRs
2 xBoxes
2 Wiis
2 Boxees
1 Roku
1 AppleTV
1 PS3
1 Media server
1 desktop PC
1 PC laptop
3 Mac laptops
4 iPhones
2 iPads
1 Kindle

All are shared amongst my husband, myself, and 2 semi-adult kids (19 and 22)

Posted by: leslie at March 5, 2012 4:18 PM