No Power? Snow Problem

I like to consider myself an “old soul,” and I have tried my best to not become too dependent on technology. That being said, my whole perspective regarding my relationship with technology has shifted in the last few days.

As I write this post, I am snowed in by a record-breaking storm, and my power has been out for the last two days. Due to this power outage, I am noticing more and more simple technologies that I depend on in my daily life that are currently unavailable to me: a refrigerator to store food, my oven and stove to cook, my house’s heating system, a lamp to light up my dark room, wifi to connect to the internet, the ability to drive my car on unobstructed roads, food deliveries of any kind, and yes– power to charge my devices. As someone who considered themself “not dependent on technology,” the chaos and anxiety produced by this short lack of power has definitely proven this label incorrect.

“What’s the big deal?” you might ask, “just bundle up and read a book. You don’t need technology.” I would agree with you– if it were not for the litany of assignments and deadlines piling up that all require a functioning laptop and internet connection. During this season of distance learning, technology is the often the only link between myself and my duties as both a student and a teacher. I cannot do my job and teach my students if my laptop batteries dies or my wifi goes out. I cannot call my parents if my phone dies. I cannot email my students, supervisors, or professors to notify them without a device and internet connection.

It is clear that my profession, my studies, and my life cannot currently function without technology. But while technology can greatly hamper productivity when it is unavailable, its absence also produces adaptability and innovation. From my housemates and I putting our food outside in the snow to stay cool, to sitting in my car to get warm and charge my phone, to writing out lesson plans by candlelight, it is clear that technology is a huge part of our lives, but it is not everything. There was a world without technology not long ago, and if somehow the apocalypse hits and wipes out our modern comforts, I have faith that the world would adapt and overcome.

My power has since come back on (as you can probably tell by me posting this), but the recent outage has caused me to reexamine my dependence on technology and reaffirmed that it is not everything. I am thankful for the amenities and conveniences provided by technology, but life goes on without it. Now, time to get started on those assignments!

2 Replies to “No Power? Snow Problem”

  1. What that old saying? Something like … “You Don’t Know What You Have Until It’s Gone” The snowstorm proved to be a perfect catalyst to reflecting on the role of technology in our lives. A thoughtful and well written piece. Sounds like you and roomies came up with some creative hacks. Glad your power is back on.

  2. Hi Francesca,

    I really have enjoyed reading this post. I can’t imagine what it was like in Portland this last weekend with all the power-outages. In Alaska, we frequently have small brownouts but are never left without power for more than 4 hours. Normally I could nap or make it through a friendly game of Monopoly. Even then, it is a struggle. Simply having no WiFi is a struggle. I am so dependent on technology without realizing it, I can’t imagine if we had an apocalypse. Thank you for sharing your reflection, it has helped me reflect on my own dependency on technology.

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